An NHL scout confirmed to Boston Hockey Now Sunday afternoon that he was told by his General Manager “all signs” point to the league holding it’s 2020 NHL Draft in “just about a month”.
As first reported by New York Post columnist Larry Brooks earlier Sunday, the NHL Board of Governors will hold a virtual meeting Monday to discuss the matter. This NHL scout said he was told the majority of owners are now on board after NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly sent a memo to NHL teams Friday night outlining why the league needs to go through with an NHL draft in June despite the complications it would present.
“That’s what we were told this weekend and they told us to keep planning for that,” the scout said. “All signs point to June Draft and the owners being on board for a draft in just about a month. None of us like it but is what it is and we need to accept it and keep going.”
Among the major concerns of holding the league’s first virtual draft ever before the 2019-20 season resumes are trades with conditional picks that were made prior to the NHL pausing its season on March 12. Daly listed ideas that could be applied with such trades and other affected aspects of the draft.
-For conditional trades, the league would propose solutions. The teams would have seven days to either reform the deal on terms acceptable to both or accept the NHL’s idea.
-Using each team’s points percentage to determine the 2020 NHL Draft Order of Selection. (That’s under the current playoff format, so 16 teams would be out of the lottery and 15 would be in.)
-Changing the lottery format this season only — picking just one winner, and limiting any move-up to a maximum of four spots.
Speaking in a Zoom Call with the media Saturday, Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney expressed his concern over a June Draft and confirmed that he and the 30 other NHL GM’s will not get a vote on when the league’s newest batch of prospects should be drafted.
“We won’t get a vote in which direction that goes but I think it’s incumbent upon the league to make the best decisions for everybody involved and we’ll be prepared for it,” Sweeney said in a Zoom call with the media Saturday. “Albeit, it’s still to be determined. I think they’re going to discuss it with the Board of Governors in what direction they want to go. I have my own preferences. … but that being said, I think the league has to make their decision about what’s best for the overall decision making than any teams that have a personal preference and I have to respect that.”
The Bruins traded away their 2020 first round pick – along with veteran forward David Backes and prospect Axel Andersson – on February 21 when they acquired forward Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks. The Bruins won’t draft in the fourth round either as that pick was part of the 2019 trade with the New Jersey Devils that also saw Boston deal a 2019 second round pick in exchange for forward Marcus Johansson Their first pick will be in the second round but at what number will be determined once the league sorts out when and how they will conduct the 2020 draft.