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Citing top in-state amateur talent and Wild's arena, NHL places 2011 draft in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The NHL will hold the 2011 draft in Minnesota.

The award of the annual event was announced by the league at a news conference on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, the home of the Minnesota Wild. The draft is set for Friday and Saturday, June 24-25.

This is the first time the Wild have hosted the draft since entering the NHL 10 years ago. They had the all-star game in 2004. The Minnesota North Stars also hosted the draft in 1989.

Wild owner Craig Leipold is also lobbying the league to bring an outdoor game to Minnesota within the next few years. The team will start next season playing in Finland, another part of Leipold's push to expand the Wild's profile.

This year's draft will be held in Los Angeles.

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