As we mentioned in a post from earlier this,week, the NHL is strongly considering holding the 2020 NHL Entry Draft prior to the completion of the 2019-2020 season, most likely sometime in June.
“I think we and the clubs would need a fair amount of lead time, so I would think a decision would need to be made relatively quickly,” Daly said Wednesday in an email to Sportsnet.
The discussion comes with the NFL expected to draw record ratings for its draft Thursday night — the first one ever held entirely online in that league because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bill Daly told me one of the reasons the NHL wants to move the draft to June is to give teams access to European players. He doesn’t feel it would be fair for the NHL to be trying to pluck players from Europe when their season begins if the draft is held in September. #NHL
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) April 23, 2020
There’s a strong marketing appeal to holding a draft in June — generating fan interest at a time when you have a captive sporting audience, with an eye toward helping revenues return when it’s safe to get the league up and running again.
There remains sizable issues to iron out prior to holding a draft before the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season:
- The draft lottery is weighted entirely on the results of the regular season. How will top picks be determined.
- There are some existing draft-pick conditions to wade through from previously completed trades — such as the J.T. Miller and Taylor Hall deals involving 2020 first-round picks that hinge on if Vancouver and Arizona, respectively, qualify for the playoffs
- Teams who know they are going to the playoffs will be unable to trade players they want to use for draft picks.