Many aspects of the sporting world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 NHL Draft could be added to the list.
The draft is scheduled for July 23-24, although a number of teams are hoping it’ll be pushed to a later date in 2021.
“I can tell you that teams involved are not going to back down easily on this issue,” said Chris Johnston during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday. “There is certainly a strong thought among NHL teams that they need more time to see the players, to evaluate them before that draft. It’s difficult to pin right now where this goes because there’s a lot of complicated factors that I think everyone involved recognizes. But at the same time, the teams really don’t want to see this happen in July as scheduled.”
In his latest 31 Thoughts, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman broke down the issues at hand that the NHL and NHLPA would have to iron out should the draft be moved.
This year’s draft has already been delayed a month past its usual June date due to the later-than-normal finish to the current season. The 2020 edition was moved to October and held virtually after the 2019-20 campaign’s pandemic-induced pause.