Top European draft picks may not be able to come over for 2020-21 season

The Hockey Night in Canada panel go over all the news and rumours around the NHL, including if the league could expand the playoffs.

Regardless of his NHL-readiness, Tim Stutzle may have to wait another year to make his NHL debut.

On Saturday’s Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet‘s Chris Johnston reported there are concerns that some of the top European prospects in October’s 2020 NHL Draft may not be permitted to cross the Atlantic to play in the 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of those concerns surround Stutzle — an 18-year-old winger from Viersen, Germany — one of the top players eligible for the draft.

“There will have to be a conversation between whatever NHL team drafts him and the (Mannheim Eagles) to see if maybe they can wrestle him free, otherwise these top prospects are all going to wait a year before they come over,” said Johnston.

Stutzle had 34 points across 41 games in Germany’s top pro league last season. He was projected to be selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the second-overall pick in Sam Cosentino’s latest mock draft.

Swedes Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond are also expected to go near the top of the draft.

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