The NHL announced on Saturday that the Minnesota Wild will host the 2011 Entry Draft on June 24-25 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
A logo for the event was also revealed via the Wild's official website. Not sure if it's the final version or just a preliminary generic version for the press conference. It is similar to the 2010 draft logo but lacks any distinguishing characteristics such as the palm trees in this year's Los Angeles edition.
Wild owner Craig Leipold made an interesting comment quoted in the NHL.com article regarding the team's intention to host a future Winter Classic.
"One of the missions by our owner, Craig Leipold, is he wants our organization to be viewed more globally across North America and internationally," Robertson said. "This event helps us with that goal. We are heading to Finland this fall to play Carolina to open the NHL regular season. In 2011 we are going to host the NHL Entry Draft. It's our hope in 2012 or 2013 to host the Winter Classic."
Possible venues for an outdoor game in the Twin Cities include Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins, which opens next week, and TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team.
As you can see, he also mentions that both the Wild and Hurricanes, who were just awarded the 2011 All-Star Game earlier this week, will face off in the annual NHL Premiere in Europe.
In February, the NHL announced that it would return to three European cities to open the 2010-11 season, all of which previously hosted NHL Premiere games. The Wild and Canes will meet in Helsinki on Oct. 7-8. The Blue Jackets and Sharks will play in Stockholm on Oct. 8-9. And the Bruins and Coyotes will hit Prague on Oct. 9-10.
The NHL Entry Draft was previously held in Minnesota in 1989 when the North Stars played in Bloomington.