The NHL is moving forward with its plans to hold the 2024 draft at the Sphere, a futuristic and state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas, according to TSN’s Chris Johnston. The Sphere, which opened in September 2023, is a spherical music and entertainment arena that features a 16K resolution wraparound interior LED screen, advanced sound systems, and 4D physical effects. The venue, which cost $2.3 billion to build, can seat up to 18,600 spectators and has a stunning exterior that is covered with 580,000 square feet of LED displays
The NHL hopes to showcase its next generation of stars at the Sphere, which would be a fitting setting for the draft, as Johnston reported on Insider Trading. “The NHL is very interested in holding the 2024 draft at the Sphere in Las Vegas. This is a venue that is going to blow people away. It’s not open yet, but it’s going to be the most technologically advanced arena in the world,” Johnston said
The 2024 draft is expected to feature some of the top prospects from the 2004 and 2005 birth years, including forwards Macklin Celebrini, Ivan Demidov, Zayne Parekh and Cole Eiserman, and defensemen Aron Kiviharju, Henry Mews and Sam Dickinson
The draft is not the only event that the NHL is working on for the near future. Johnston also revealed that the league is aiming to bring back the World Cup of Hockey in 2025, after the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Cup of Hockey is an international tournament that is organized by the NHL and the NHLPA, unlike the annual World Championships and the Olympic Games, which are run by the IIHF. The World Cup of Hockey allows the NHL to have more control over the format, the rules, and the timing of the event, which usually takes place before the start of the NHL season
The last World Cup of Hockey was held in 2016, and was won by Canada, who defeated Team Europe in the final. The tournament also featured two unique teams: Team North America, which consisted of players aged 23 and under from Canada and the United States, and Team Europe, which comprised players from European countries that did not have their own national teams. The World Cup of Hockey has been held three times before, with the United States winning in 1996 and Canada winning in 2004 and 2016
The NHL and the NHLPA are still in the process of finalizing the details of the next World Cup of Hockey, such as the number of teams, the format, and the location. However, Johnston reported that the league is optimistic that the event will take place in 2025, and that it will be a success. “The NHL and the NHLPA are working towards a World Cup in 2025. They’re not quite ready to announce it yet, but they’re very hopeful that they can pull this off,” Johnston said
The NHL is looking to create more excitement and interest in the game of hockey with these two events, which would showcase the best players in the world in a spectacular and innovative way. The 2024 draft at the Sphere and the 2025 World Cup of Hockey could be the highlights of the NHL calendar in the coming years.