Gary Bettman expected to announce Vancouver as host of NHL Draft

Feb 28 2018, 5:51 am

Gary Bettman is coming to town.

Stop booing.

This time he’s got good news, as the league is expected to unveil Vancouver as the host of the 2019 NHL Draft.

A media release was sent by the NHL stating Bettman’s presence, along with Canucks president Trevor Linden and Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, for a “press event” at Rogers Arena for a “special announcement” taking place on Wednesday. The announcement, as was reported last week, is expected to be details for the league’s annual draft weekend. The Canucks have already confirmed that they were a finalist for the event.

The Vancouver selection makes a lot of sense, as many of the players that walk the stage will have performed at the 2019 World Juniors six months earlier in Vancouver and Victoria.

This would mark the second time Vancouver has hosted the World Juniors and the NHL Draft in the same year. The draft was last held in Vancouver in 2006, six months after Vancouver and Kamloops hosted the World Juniors.

Erik Johnson went first overall to the Colorado Avalanche that year. The Canucks chose Michael Grabner with the 14th pick.

The only other time Vancouver has hosted the draft was in 1990, when the NHL welcomed Jaromir Jagr to the league. The Canucks chose Petr Nedved with the second overall pick that year.

After his trip to Vancouver, Bettman will likely pop down to Seattle on Thursday, as the city starts their season-ticket drive to prove themselves NHL-ready. Many expect the Emerald City to have an expansion team to begin the 2020 season.

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