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NHL Awards And Expansion Draft Format Explained

Find out more about when you can expect to hear the Golden Knights Expansion Draft picks announced

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

There are a few isolated moments every year at the NHL Entry Draft.

It'll usually happens on stage, in front of a jammed pack arena.

It'll slow down concessions, wind down conversations and even bring TV commentators to a standstill.

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Every time NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman approaches the podium and utters the words "we have a trade to announce," it brings the evening to life. (See Below)

Watch: Youtube Vide


Although only for a moment.

After Bettman announces the transactions - many of which are minor in immediate consequence - everybody goes back to what they're doing.

The concessions crank back up, conversations resume and the TV commentators go back to work.

Just like clockwork.

When T-Mobile Arena hosts the NHL Awards and Expansion Draft on June 21 (5:00 PM/PT, NBCSN/Rogers Sportsnet), it'll be kind of like these other drafts.

Except not really.

Where the excitement is often brief when trades and transactions are announced at the NHL Entry Draft, this energy has the ability to last two straight hours the night the Golden Knights select one player from every other franchise in the league 12 days from now.

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"The way it'll work is the Awards and the Expansion Draft will be integrated into one another," NHL Executive Vice President/Creative Development & Programming and Executive Producer Steve Mayer, the man leading the event presentation portion of the evening, said.

"We'll start with the Ted Lindsay Award, which is handed out to the most valuable player as voted by the players. That's how we're going to start out the show.

"Then we're going to go in the second segment into the Expansion Draft. Then we'll come back and we'll do a few awards…and then we'll come back to the Expansion Draft. It will ping pong a bit."

As Mayer detailed, the plan isn't to allot one part of the evening to the NHL Awards, and another to the Expansion Draft. He says that the two will be mixed together.

Within each other.

Amongst each other.

Where after one of the league awards is announced, for example, the show will quickly transition to the Expansion Draft.

And back and forth.

Perhaps one Expansion Draft "segment" will see six new Golden Knights announced. Or maybe three goalies.

Or some other amount.

Mayer says more details about "how" the selection segments will be divided will be released in the coming days. What we know now is that it'll be something along the lines of an award being presented, a handful of Golden Knights being introduced and then another award.

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And then more new Golden Knights.

And again, back and forth.

Joe Manganiello will host the NHL Awards portion of the show, while NBC's Kathryn Tappen and Rogers Sportsnet's Darren Millard will split the Expansion Draft segments.

"One thing that we're going to announce is the players in a particular order, which we'll announce soon," Mayer said. "Each fan of a particular team will know when their pick is coming.

"I think the fact that we have two events (combined together) that could very well stand on their own makes the whole thing unique. It makes it a very interesting, fun opportunity for the league. The fact that we're combining it gives our fans sort of this night to remember. I think it just makes both of these events, which on their own would be interesting. Now, together, it makes it just an incredible evening."


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Some Players Will Be Present

What makes the NHL Awards and Expansion Draft such a fascinating event is that we don't know what players will be taken.

And we won't know beforehand, either.

As T-Mobile Arena hosts this marquee event, fans and players alike will experience all of the selections in real time.

In public.

In the same boat as one another.

This could make for some emotional exchanges, especially as certain players who've long been associated with other teams will be told they're coming to Vegas.

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While the element of randomness involved is what'll make this evening exciting, it does, however, make it difficult to have all of the players that are selected in attendance.

Instead, the plan is for "some" of the new Golden Knights in the building, in person.

Just as the identities of who the first Golden Knights selections will be remains unknown, who'll be in attendance is also TBD.

 "It'll be players that not only the fans of the teams know, but fans of the NHL know," Mayer said. "I think that adds to the intrigue here dramatically.

"Once you get deeper into the Entry Draft (for example), a lot of casual fans don't know the players. Here you're going to find no matter if we do it in the first half hour or the last half hour, there are going to be players taken that are pretty well known. Fans might be cheering for the Knights 'to' take someone or to 'not' take someone.

"The whole thing is going to be intriguing."

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