As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact hockey at all levels, the NHL and its member teams have begun to discuss what to do about the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. If the draft proceeds as scheduled in July, teams will be facing an unprecedented lack of information on the eligible prospects. With the OHL and WHL yet to play this season, QMJHL teams limited to about 20 games or less thus far, and delays or cancellations in the NCAA, USHL, and throughout Europe, hardly any NHL draft-eligible has played a normal season. Expecting NHL teams to make educated selections comparable to a normal draft year at this point seems impossible. As a result, it should not come as a surprise that TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the league is discussing moving the date of the draft back, with teams expected to support the change.
In particular, Dreger notes that there have been discussions about pushing the draft scheduled for this summer all the way back to the following summer. This would allow for 2021 prospects to get in the full season that they have been denied this year before being selected.