Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s report on Friday night, NHL teams received the league’s position paper on a potential June draft.
Friedman said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who wrote the report, pointed out broadcast networks are in alignment with the plan.
The note from the league states it needs a month to prepare for the draft and Friedman points to a rumor for June 5.
The Hockey Night in Canada panelist also noted:
“If the draft is not moved up, the best-case scenario would see the Stanley Cup awarded in early- to mid-September at the earliest,” leaving a short window for the draft lottery and the draft before the league moves onto other matters ahead of the 2020-21 season, which could be delayed until December.
The NHL also included a worst-case scenario in the memo, being if the league is forced to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 season:
“In that case, and again in the absence of an early Draft, we would be faced with having to schedule a Draft Lottery and stage a Draft at some uncertain time prior to resuming play for the 2020–21 season. In this scenario, the same concerns that some Clubs have expressed about determining Lottery eligibility and overall Draft order, as well as the issue of having to resolve undetermined conditional provisions in trades, would still need to be addressed.”
To choose the Order of Selection, the NHL pitched using teams’ points percentage, which is under the current playoff format: 16 teams out of the lottery, 15 in. The league also suggested changing the lottery solely for the 2019-20 season, picking one winner only and keeping any team from moving up more than four spots.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston pointed out a potential outcome from the proposed draft lottery guidelines where the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks “couldn’t jump above two, three, four and five, respectively.”