The NHL Draft will not occur in Montreal this year and will instead be held online virtually.
Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the news in an appearance on NHL Network on Wednesday.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) April 29, 2020
“It won’t be in Montreal this year,” Friedman said. “This will be an online draft just like the NFL one does. The league will make it up to the Canadiens by giving them a draft next year or the year after. There was some hope next year that it would be in Seattle to coincide with the Expansion Draft. But if it is in Seattle, Montreal probably gets it the year after.
“So we’re looking at a virtual online draft,” Friedman continued. “The NFL and the technical staff for ESPN, the on-air people, everyone there, did a great job. I think the NHL noticed that. I think the NHL also noticed the TV ratings which were very high.”
The date of when the draft will happen remains an open question.
“There has been talk of doing the NHL Draft as early as June 5th,” Friedman said. “The GMs don’t like that. They think it’s too soon. They don’t think they should do it until we know the final standings in the playoffs. I don’t know where this is going to go. I would suspect we’re going to have an idea this week about which way the NHL decides to go, but I do know that there are people in the league who would like to copy [the NFL], who would like to do something similar. The hockey people are against it. We’ll see who wins out in this debate.”
Headline photo: Pixabay and NHL screenshot
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