Utah Hockey Club Chris Armstrong

Chris Armstrong was named president of hockey operations of the Utah Hockey Club on Tuesday, joining what officially became an NHL franchise June 13.

Armstrong, no relation to Utah general manager Bill Armstrong, will also be an alternate governor and work with business operations and Smith Entertainment Group (SEG) ownership.

"We are excited to welcome Chris to the SEG leadership team," Utah Hockey Club owner Ryan Smith said. "He has cultivated strong relationships with top players, agents and executives across the hockey world throughout his career, and his unique background and diverse skill set will be crucial as we establish the greatest possible hockey experience for our community, fans, players, coaches and front office."

Chris Armstrong arrives after nearly 14 years as an executive at Wasserman, a Los Angeles-based sports marketing and talent management company, where he was a key figure in advising an acquisition strategy that established the company's hockey practice in 2018. He also negotiated several contracts for prominent hockey executives within the NHL and managed the careers of top players and personalities in professional golf, including Utah native Tony Finau. 

Utah on Monday signed its first two players to three-year, entry-level contracts since relocating from Arizona: 19-year-old forward Noel Nordh and 20-year-old forward Julian Lutz. It has the No. 6 pick in the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Sphere in Las Vegas. The first round is June 28 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS) and Rounds 2-7 are June 29 (11:30 a.m. ET; ESPN+, NHLN, SN, SN1).

Players will wear UTAH on their chest throughout next season as part of an identity that will include jerseys in Rock Black, Salt White and Mountain Blue. Fan voting to decide among six finalists for a permanent name is open until Thursday ( https://segmedia.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bIPN5lOSijGkaFM ), which will launch prior to the start of the 2025-26 season.

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