Following an NHL Board of Governors meeting last night, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that Las Vegas will have a team in the NHL from the start of the 2017-18 season. By unanimous decision, the board decided that the Las Vegas franchise will become the NHL’s 31st team and that there will not be a team entering from Quebec. In an announcement last night, Bettman stated that the expansion into Quebec wasn’t deferred due to any doubt about the bidders or the fan support within Quebec, but greatly because of the decline in value of the Canadian dollar and the geographical imbalance it would cause – giving the Eastern Conference 17 teams to the West’s 14.
The expansion means that the Western Conference will now have 15 teams, only one down on the Eastern Conference. The new franchise in Las Vegas will be the infamous city’s first major league sports team, despite the NFL also showing heavy interest in the area. The NHL will host an expansion draft at the end of next season, in which the new Las Vegas franchise will be allowed to select players from other teams, but who they can select will be restricted. For the 2017 Draft Lottery, the NHL has announced that Las Vegas will be given the same odds as third from bottom in the league – which subsequently means that their first ever draft selection can be no lower than sixth overall. From that, they will also have the third pick in each round – subject to trades and other player transactions.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 22, 2016
Las Vegas joining the NHL will celebrate the league’s 100th birthday.