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The NHL Draft Still On For June?
By Michael Walters
The 2020 NHL Draft may take place in June before the possible conclusion of the season according to TSN/Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. The league had a conference call today and discussed the idea according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The Draft was originally scheduled for Friday, June 26th and Saturday, June 27th in Montreal. There is a chance the Draft could still be in June, but there are several obstacles that would have to be ironed out if the season is to conclude afterward.
First, with 189 regular-season games left to possibly play and/or playoffs, the Draft position of a few teams would change if the season is finished after the Draft. Some teams could finish in a higher or lower position than where they would have been when drafting in June.
Second, there are several teams with conditioning picks that are determined by games played, how teams finish the season, etc. For example, Carolina traded for Sami Vatanen and New Jersey received a 2020 4th Round Conditional Picks. The pick gets upgraded to a 2020 3rd round pick if Vatanen plays in the final 12 regular-season games or if Carolina makes the playoffs and he plays in 70% of their playoff games.
Finally, how would trades work? They might have to only allow teams to trade drafts picks instead of players. Maybe teams could trade players and then the players are only officially traded until when the season is completed, but that would just be weird. Trades would likely have to be halted altogether.
Having the Draft in June before the season concludes is creating more questions than answers. The league would have figure out all of the details if they proceed unless of course they just canceled the rest of the 2019-20 season.
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April 21st, 2020