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Mixed feelings around hockey about holding NHL draft early

The NHL is deciding whether to hold the draft earlier in June following the NFL’s success with its virtual draft last month.
Credit: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Cale Makar puts on a Colorado Avalanche jersey after being selected by the team in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

NEW YORK — The NHL is pondering the notion of holding its amateur draft before the Stanley Cup final.

The draft had been scheduled for June 26-27, but it was postponed with the season in an indefinite suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Now the NHL is deciding whether to hold it earlier in June following the NFL’s success with its virtual draft last month.

There are mixed feelings about the idea among executives because such a move means teams would not be able to trade players before or during the draft and there would be a lack of clarity over next year's salary cap. 

The draft order could also be determined before all games are played, meaning teams could pick in a different order than if the season had completed all 82 games. 

Only two teams had more points than the Colorado Avalanche (92) when the NHL stopped play, the Boston Bruins (100) and St. Louis Blues (94), meaning Colorado would be slated to pick 29th in the first round. 

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