Utah Officially Joins the NHL Under Temporary Name

Utah Officially Joins the NHL Under Temporary Name

Photo via Utah Hockey Club

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Hockey Club has officially joined the NHL.

Smith Entertainment Group, led by Ryan and Ashley Smith, finalized the establishment of the Utah Hockey Club on Thursday, nearly two months after the NHL Board of Governors approved the franchise for the 2024-25 season.

“Today is a monumental day for the state of Utah as we officially close on the establishment of a new NHL franchise,” Ryan Smith, governor of Utah Hockey Club and chairman of Smith Entertainment Group, said. “The NHL has been incredible to work with throughout this process, providing us with invaluable guidance and support. We have a ton of work to do — training camp starts in less than 100 days — and could not be more excited about what’s to come.”

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“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome Utah to the National Hockey League. Congratulations to Ryan and Ashley Smith, their entire organization, the state of Utah, and the fans as the Club continues its exciting march toward puck drop in October,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman added.

The team announced the news on their X account with a hype video.

The team’s colors include rock black, salt white, and mountain blue. These colors represent Utah’s mountains, deserts, salt flats, and clear skies, tying in with the Utah Jazz’s new color scheme, also owned by Smith Entertainment Group.

The home uniform will be rock black with “UTAH” across the chest in stairstep lettering, featuring salt white and mountain blue striping. The away uniform will be salt white with rock black and mountain blue striping.

The club has launched its website, UtahHockeyClub.com, and its social media channels — @UtahHockeyClub on X, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

The team may adopt a new name for the 2025-26 season, with a fan vote narrowing the choices to six: Utah Blizzard, Utah Hockey Club (Utah HC), Utah Mammoth, Utah Outlaws, Utah Venom, and Utah Yeti. Voting is open until June 20.

Ryan and Ashley Smith, who purchased the contracts of Arizona Coyotes executives, coaches, and players, will have the team play at Delta Center in Salt Lake City, home of the Jazz since 1991-92.

The Arizona franchise is inactive after playing in the Greater Phoenix area since relocating from Winnipeg for the 1996-97 season.

The Utah Hockey Club holds the No. 6 pick in the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, which will be held at Sphere in Las Vegas. The first round is June 28, and rounds 2-7 are June 29.

Utah general manager Bill Armstrong told NHL.com that nothing has changed in how the hockey operations department approaches the draft.

“I think that’s one of the reasons that they brought everybody from the hockey ops, is to keep the process the same,” Armstrong said. “I think our staff has done a tremendous job at acquiring prospects and going through the draft and just accumulating a good mass of prospects in a short period of time. So, I think they’re excited about the process that we’ve developed here and the talent, not only that we’ve drafted but also in our staff that allows us to kind of feed the engine every year.”