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NHL Sends Out Draft Memo
By Michael Walters
On Friday night the NHL sent out a draft memo to the teams according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Deputy NHL Commissioner Bill Daly wrote the memo hinting at maybe having the NHL draft in June, which was previously reported as a possibility. It sounds like the idea would be to have the draft on or around June 5th.
Several league GMs, including Detroit GM Steve Yzerman, have voiced opposition to the idea. I outlined some of the concerns, which include the draft order, conditional picks, and trades. The league addressed each of these in the draft memo suggesting the following:
The league would use each team’s current point percentage to determine the order of selection. Under the current system, 15 teams would be in the lottery and 16 teams would be out.
The lottery format would be changed just for this draft to the old formula. There would just be one winner and teams would be limited to moving up by a maximum of four spots.
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Detroit would pick no lower than second. Ottawa would not be any lower than third and fourth. New Jersey, Buffalo, Chicago, and Montreal couldn’t jump above two, three, four, and five, respectively.
Trades That Involved Conditional Picks
According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN/The Athletic, the league has reviewed 15 trades that involve conditional picks with playoff implications and the NHL would provide solutions for each. The teams would then have seven days to either “reform the trade on terms acceptable to both teams” or accept the proposed solution.
If the league does resume the 2019-20 season after the draft, then trades involving current players wouldn’t be permitted. Trades involving draft picks in this draft or future drafts could be allowed.
If the draft is not held in June, then it could be held after the Stanley Cup is awarded which could be around September. The issue in this scenario is there would be a small amount of time between then and the next season which could start in December as previously suggested. The draft prospects would not start their careers with an organization on the same timeline as with the normal June draft. A delayed draft though could use the same draft lottery process that is currently in place and there would be no issue with trades.
The Board of Governors will have a conference call next Monday. The NHL says a decision will be made sometime next week. According to Daly, “the fact of the matter is that whenever we hold the 2020 Draft — in early June or ‘shoehorned’ into a short window in October or November — (it) is not going to be a typical NHL Draft. It is not going to look the same; it is not going to feel the same; and it is not going to be the same.”
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May 1st, 2020