Teams vote for drastic change to the NHL Draft!

Teams vote for drastic change to the NHL Draft!




Last week, reports emerged that had been considering a drastic change to the NHL draft process and a ‘decentralization’ of the event (having clubs stay at home while prospects attend NFL/NBA style). On Wednesday, insiders, including Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman revealed that, according to several sources, the vast majority of NHL teams voted to decentralize the draft.

Teams across the NHL had until the end of business Tuesday to submit their positions on the decentralized draft format.

Chris Johnston explains how the league therefore issued a memo to teams saying that there was majority support for a shift to a decentralized draft.

“Still not clear if it will happen in 2024 and there are a lot of logistics to work out.”

In his latest 32 Thoughts column, Friedman explained how the decentralization would impact the teams, players and draft itself as it would mainly mean that front offices would stay home in their team headquarters while drafted players would still go on stage in a central location and be greeted by the commissioner, like we’ve seen in the NFL.

Friedman expressed his disappointment with the moves towards a decentralized draft format saying:

“As a reporter who likes everyone being together for a change, I’m disappointed with the news. But not surprised, as there was growing opposition to the status quo for several reasons. The draft being held on June 28-29 with free agency on July 1 was a major issue. Cost is another. Some teams felt their plans were being discovered because tables were too close and things were overheard.

"Whatever the case, I hope the NHL finds a new and interesting way to make it exciting.”

That’s what fans first feared when the rumour emerged last week. Many believe the current format encourages more substantial trading activity and the on-the-floor activities are more engaging for anyone watching and following the action.

Friedman believes the new format will take over in the summer of 2025, which means fans and insiders will get a final go at the current set up:

“If this year’s draft is indeed held at The Sphere, I can see the possibility of one final 32-team extravaganza. Go out with a bang,” Friedman begs.

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