2010 NHL draft to be held in June at Staples Center in Los Angeles

TORONTO – The NHL is officially taking the 2010 entry draft to Tinseltown.

Los Angeles will host the event for the first time when the league convenes at the Staples Center on June 25-26.

Reports surfaced a month ago that Los Angeles would be chosen as the host city. The deal was announced on Friday.

“It has been terrific to watch the continuing evolution of the Los Angeles Kings, as well as the growth of hockey in the state of California,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “With local youth programs producing an increasing number of elite players, we are extremely pleased to bring this showcase event to California for the first time.”

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The league’s draft has rotated between different cities for more than 20 years. It was held at the Bell Centre in Montreal last June.

The NHL will again hold its award show in Las Vegas just before the draft. Los Angeles is a short trip away for those attending both events.

Plymouth Whalers centre Tyler Seguin was rated as the top OHL prospect in preliminary rankings released by NHL Central Scouting last month. Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires, long considered the No. 1 prospect for the 2010 draft, was ranked second.