Blues push ahead with draft preparations amid postponement of NHL events

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

The coronavirus pandemic continues to take a bite out of the NHL calendar. The league announced Wednesday afternoon that it is postponing the NHL draft, the scouting combine, the draft lottery and the NHL awards show.

The 2020 draft had been scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal; the scouting combine was scheduled for June 1-6 in Buffalo; and the awards show for June 18 in Las Vegas. The draft lottery, which determines the selection order for the 15 teams that don't make the playoffs, was scheduled for April 9.

"The location, timing and format of the 2020 NHL Draft (and draft lottery) will be announced when details are finalized," the NHL said in a statement.

But it looks like there will be no "makeup date" for the awards show, a fun night but one that obviously ranks low on the league's priority list.

"With respect to the Bridgestone NHL Awards, the league looks forward to returning to Las Vegas in the future," was all the NHL said about that event.

Las Vegas has been home for the awards show since 2009.


Meanwhile, the status of the scouting combine is murkier, with no mention from the NHL of possibly rescheduling the event.

"I assume it will be subject to when/if we play again in the 2019-20 season and what the general rules are for travel and gatherings of people," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told the Post-Dispatch. "The league isn't making any long-term plans at this time."

Things are less complicated with the draft and the draft lottery, because those events can easily be done via phone. The draft lottery won't affect the Blues since they had the best record in the Western Conference entering the suspension of play two weeks ago.

With or without any more games, there will be a draft this season. And the Blues have a first-rounder after waiting until the very end of Round 2 a year ago to make their first selection (Nikita Alexandrov).


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