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Nashville Predators Named Host of 2023 NHL Draft, NHL Awards

Erin WalshAugust 18, 2022

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, FIle

"Smashville" will be the host of some important NHL events next year as the Nashville Predators—who play at Bridgestone Arena—will host the 2023 NHL draft and NHL Awards, the league announced Thursday.

"We are thrilled to bring two of our marquee events, the 2023 NHL Awards and the 2023 NHL draft, to Nashville, a special city that certainly knows how to throw a great party," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

Nashville has never hosted the NHL Awards, which are scheduled for June 26, 2023. However, the franchise previously hosted the NHL draft in 2003 at Bridgestone Arena, then known as Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Some of the top players from the 2003 class, widely believed to be one of the best in NHL history, who were selected in Nashville include Patrice Bergeron, Marc-Andre Fleury, Ryan Suter, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Eric Staal, Shea Weber and Brent Burns.

Next year's draft is scheduled to begin with Round 1 on June 28 and finish with Rounds 2-7 on June 29.

The 2023 class is expected to be highlighted by Connor Bedard, who plays for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, and Matvei Michkov, who plays for SKA-1946 of the MHL in Russia.

Bedard, a center, tallied 51 goals and 49 assists in 62 games for the Pats last season. He is also representing Canada at the Under-20 World Junior Championship and has tallied three goals and four assists in five games .

Michkov, a winger, tallied 22 goals and 16 assists in 22 games last season. He added 13 goals and four assists in 17 playoff games.

This will be the first time since 2006 that the same city hosts both the NHL draft and NHL Awards. Vancouver hosted both the draft and the league's awards ceremony in 2006.

Aside from the draft, Nashville has also played host to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, 2017 Stanley Cup Final and the 2022 Stadium Series.

Last year, the Montreal Canadiens hosted the 2022 NHL draft at Bell Centre, and the 2022 NHL Awards took place at Armature Works in Tampa, Florida.

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