NHL To Make History With First-Ever Virtual Draft

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) and Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Nicholas Robertson (89). Photo by Canadian Press/Shutterstock (10726065f)

The 2020 NHL Draft, scheduled to commence on Tuesday, will make history as the first-ever virtual NHL draft in the event’s 58-year history.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic still proving to be a cause for concern for the NHL, the draft will be conducted entirely online, with each team being represented by staff members who will be connected to the event from their own draft rooms while remaining in their respective geographic areas.

Each team’s representatives will be given an allotted time limit during which to announce their team’s draft picks via the NHL network.

This contingency plan has received ample support from hockey professionals, among them being Judd Brackett, the director of amateur scouting for the Minnesota Wild.

According to Brackett: “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to get all our amateur staff together because of border closures and travel restrictions.

But we are going to have feeds and whether it’s Zoom calls or Webex, we’ll have the ability to have them front and center and available. Being able to have the visuals in the room, they are absolutely going to partake (in the process), even though they’re not physically present.”

Left-wing Alexis Lafreniere of Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is expected to be the number one draft pick of the New York Rangers, who have been awarded the first pick by winning the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery.