Utah Hockey Club Makes Noise During Inaugural NHL Draft

Jun 29, 2024, 3:03 PM


Tij Iginla is selected by the Utah Hockey Club with the sixth overall pick during the first round of the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Sphere on June 28, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITYUtah Hockey Club built up its roster by making 11 picks and multiple trades during the franchise’s first-ever NHL Draft.

Historic NHL Draft for Utah HC

The 62nd NHL Draft was held at the Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada from June 28-29.

RELATED: Utah Hockey Club Makes 11 Selections, Three Trades At 2024 NHL Draft

During the two-day affair, the league’s newest team added youth, talent, and depth to its roster and farm system.


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Before the event got underway on Friday, team owner Ryan Smith spoke to the media. “This is a big day for the state of Utah,” Smith said. “This is a big day for this new franchise.”

It was a historic day and also an eventful one.

First draft picks

Utah entered the first round with the No. 6 overall pick. Less than an hour into the night, Smith and his wife, Ashley, took the stage alongside general manager Bill Armstrong before announcing Tij Iginla as the franchise’s first-ever draft pick.

@kslsportscom Ryan and Ashley Smith announce the first draft pick in @Utah Hockey Club history, Tij Iginla. #UtahHC #NHLDraft #NHL ♬ original sound – kslsports

Iginla, a standout from Kelowna, became the first player to wear the team’s rock black home sweater.

Following his selection, Iginla spoke with the media and shared his excitement to be Utah’s historic pick. Iginla’s father, Jarome, was a star in the NHL. However, the new Utah HC forward said he’s looking forward to carving his own path in the league.

@kslsportscom The duo we didn’t know we needed. 🔥 Beast Mode 🤝 Tij Iginla #UtahHC #NHLDraft #NHL #NFL ♬ original sound – kslsports

Shortly after Iginla’s selection, Armstrong made a move to get back into the first round. Armed with a league-high 13 picks entering the draft, the general manager packaged picks 38, 71, and a 2025 second-rounder to secure No. 24 overall from the Colorado Avalance.

With its second pick of the evening, Utah Hockey Club made Cole Beaudoin the second-ever draftee by the franchise.

The Barrie product arrived at the draft wearing a light blue suit similar to Utah HC’s mountain blue color. After taking the stage and putting on the Utah sweater for the first time, Beaudoin also spoke with the media.

The center has a unique connection to the Beehive State as his father, Eric, played for the Utah Grizzlies in 2001.

Iginla and Beaudoin were the only picks made by Utah on Day 1. However, Armstrong & Co. turned up the dial with more action on the second day of the draft.

Despite using a pick to move up for Beaudoin on Friday, the league’s newest team made double-digit picks on Saturday morning.

Before Utah’s first selection, the franchise made a stir around the league and caused many in the crowd at the Sphere to let out audible gasps.

Big Trades with Day 2 Deals

Utah Hockey Club made a big-time move by trading with the Tampa Bay Lightning and receiving veteran defenseman Mikhail Sergachev. The addition of Sergachev immediately filled Utah’s big need on the roster and brought in a winning presence to a team four years into a rebuild. Sergachev is a two-time Stanley Cup winner.

Shortly after making the move for Sergachev, Armstrong made another deal. Utah traded with the New Jersey Devils and received another defenseman, this time it was John Marino.


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Following the pair of trades, Utah made its first pick of Day 2 by drafting Will Skahan with the No. 65 overall pick.

Throughout the rest of the morning, Utah HC continued to add to its depth and youth. The team made another trade as well.

2024 Utah Hockey Club Draft Picks

After seven rounds of selections and two action-packed days, Utah drafted the following players:

Utah’s new draft picks will hit the ice for the first time with the rock black, salt white, and mountain blue during the team’s development camp in Park City, Utah next week. On July 5, players from this year’s draft will compete in a scrimmage with last season’s rookies. The exhibition will be held at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City on July 5.

Kyle Ireland is a Utah Hockey Club Insider for KSLSports.com. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Utah Hockey Club Makes Noise During Inaugural NHL Draft