The NHL announced Wednesday it has postponed its 2020 scouting combine, awards night and draft indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is the first major North American pro sports league to move its draft as a result of the virus taking hold in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere around the world.
The NHL draft was scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal, one of three major drafts to take place in June. The NBA draft is supposed to be held June 20 and Major League Baseball’s is set for June 10-12; neither of those leagues has announced any changes to those schedules yet.
The NFL, meanwhile, is reportedly going forward with its draft from April 23-25 as originally scheduled, despite some teams’ front offices objecting. That league canceled its public events in Las Vegas and plans to move to a television-only format.
The NHL said details for the delayed draft — its new date, location and potential format changes, including as it concerns the draft lottery — will be announced once they’re finalized.
The draft lottery was tentatively slated for April 9, five days after the regular season would have ended. The scouting combine was scheduled for June 1-6 in Buffalo, New York.
“NHL Awards,” which like the NFL and NBA has taken an entertainment awards show format in recent years, was to be held on June 19 in Las Vegas, but it’s becoming clear the hockey season itself won’t be finished by then.
NHL announces postponement of scouting combine, awards and draft. Figured this was coming.— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) March 25, 2020
NHL announces it has postponed the scouting combine, awards and draft due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus.— Sarah McLellan (@sarah__mclellan) March 25, 2020
The location, timing and format of the 2020 draft (and draft lottery) will be announced when details are finalized.
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