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Sports spotlight returns to Dallas with NHL Draft this weekend

Two months after the spotlight was on the D/FW Metroplex and the NFL Draft at Cowboys Stadium, the spotlight has returned; and this time it’s on the Dallas Stars.

The Stars and the City of Dallas will play host to the National Hockey League (NHL) draft Friday and Saturday at American Airlines Center, bringing hockey and the focus of the League to Dallas.

“We believe it is a fitting way to help celebrate the 25th anniversary season of the franchise,” said Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the NHL during the draft announcement.

The 2018 NHL Draft™ will be held over two days – Friday, June 22 (Round 1) begins at 7:30 p.m. ET, and Saturday, June 23 (Rounds 2-7) begins at 11 a.m. E.T. NHL club executives, scouts, and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while thousands of fans and hundreds of print, television, and radio media are expected to attend. The Stars will draft 13th.

This will mark the first time the Stars and the City of Dallas will host the NHL Draft and is a fitting way to end the organization’s 25th anniversary silver season (2017-18).

In addition to the draft occurring this weekend, The Texas Hockey History Museum will open to the public Thursday at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Farmers Branch. The Museum displays memorabilia dating back 100 years and shows the progress of hockey in Texas even before the Stars moved from Minnesota in 1993.

The spotlight on hockey will continue today when the League reveals its complete 1,271-game schedule live on the NHL Network at 5 p.m. ET during NHL Tonight. The hour-long show will also be streamed live on Stars fans will get to see and plan which of the 82-games they plan to attend.

The League announced Wednesday the home openers for the 2018-19 season for all 31 clubs (Stars will play Arizona Coyotes, Thursdays, Oct. 4)

Hockey fans, Stars followers and the public, in general, can enjoy this weekend’s festivities at the 2018 Draft Fan Fest presented by Denny’s in Victory Plaza at American Airlines Center.

The Draft Fan Fest presented by Denny’s will begin at noon CT on Friday and offer a unique, one-of-kind experience on Victory Plaza at American Airlines Center featuring live music, authentic Texas BBQ, interactive exhibits, autograph sessions, an opportunity to take a picture with the Stanley Cup, and other special events.

Throughout the day Friday, various local country music acts will take the stage, ending with David Nail at 4:30 p.m., just before the 2018 NHL Draft™ presented by Adidas.

Immediately following the conclusion of the First Round of the 2018 NHL Draft™ presented by Adidas, Chase Rice will take the stage to conclude Friday’s festivities. The Draft Fan Fest presented by Denny’s will continue throughout the day on Saturday during Round Two of the 2018 NHL Draft™ presented by Adidas.

For more information on the NHL Draft, the Dallas Stars, Draft Fan Fest and more, visit

Credentialed media member and writer covering the Dallas Stars. | Dorothy J Gentry is an educator and journalist covering the NBA, Mavericks, WNBA, Wings and Dallas area sports & entertainment for Texas Metro News,, Garland Journal, Dallas Sports Fanatic & others. She is a member of the NABJ Sports Task Force.

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