National Hockey League postpones draft, combine, awards due to coronavirus

June NHL Entry Draft that was slated for Bell Centre postponed

The NHL Awards were held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center a year ago, but a venue for 2020 was not yet announced.

The league confirmed Wednesday afternoon it has made a decision to postpone the 2020 NHL draft scheduled for June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal along with the annual scouting combine, which was set for June 1-6 in Buffalo, and the NHL awards in Las Vegas that were supposed to be held June 18.

When the NHL suspended play earlier this month, both Southland teams were in the bottom five of the league's standings. The league is still looking at options for when these events can be held down the road but without a full understanding of when (or if) the season will resume it is obviously impossible to announce a reschedule date at this point. Nobody is sure what format the lottery will take, but it wouldn't make sense to change it if the rest of the regular season is cancelled.


This sets up the possibility that the NHL could hold the 2020 draft in private and with teams picking from remote locations, something the league hasn't seen since the 1970s in a non-lockout season. Major League Baseball is reportedly considering skipping its 2020 draft, originally scheduled for June 10-12, in order to save money in what will likely be a shortened season. The Habs last hosted the draft in 2009.

The Canadiens now hold 14 picks for the draft, including one in the first round, three in the second round, two in the third round and three in the fourth round.

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