Red Wings understand desire to postpone draft until 2022


At their current rate, the Detroit Red Wings would have another high draft pick. With any luck in the lottery, they might even draw the first overall selection.

But they may have to wait until summer 2022 to make that choice.

The NHL reportedly considered the possibility of postponing the 2021 draft, scheduled for July 23-24, to next year, giving teams the opportunity to better spot and assess prospects whose leagues have been closed due to COVID-19 .

If that happens, there would be back-to-back draft in 2022, one for eligible players in 2021, based on the 2021 ranking and lottery, and one for eligible players in 2022, based on the ranking and ranking. lottery 2021-22.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that CEOs “Are very supportive of that and you have to think that players eligible for the 2021 draft would also be in favor, given the fact that a majority of these kids are not playing hockey right now. “

He added that this was an issue related to the CBA and that the NHL Players Association was not yet involved.

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill understands this line of thinking.

“There’s a whole bunch of players who haven’t played, and how do you rate the guys who haven’t played? Blashill said Thursday. “It doesn’t seem to be fair. I think the 18 year old birth year draft is extremely difficult anyway, should probably be a later draft.

“Of course, that would allow the teams to do things better. Now you have a difficult and complex job and you cannot get a chance to assess. I don’t know how you can make these decisions. There are many different factors that would have to be taken into account in making those decisions, but I would certainly understand why they are looking at this issue. “

Of Canada’s three major junior leagues, only the Quebec League plays. The Western Hockey League is scheduled to start on February 26. The indefinitely suspended Ontario Hockey League still hopes to have a season cut short.

Several European leagues and American colleges have either suspended play or canceled matches due to the pandemic.

This made scouting much more difficult, which Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman addressed ahead of the season.

“You are limited by travel, entry into countries,” Yzerman said. “Even some of the leagues that have played, they’re not allowed to have scouts (in the building). When games are played, our people, our scouting staff, go to the games in their area. Going from the US to Canada is not possible right now, so the guys in Canada are doing the job in Canada.

“The spotting for the draft is going to be difficult. If these leagues get established and work, the hours will be shortened. If we go ahead with the draft in (July) it will be a real challenge because you are going to have limited views on the players and assess the players who have played 24 games, maybe, and who have remained seated. virtually for almost a whole year and I haven’t played. Some of these kids will be limited or limited to how much they can skate or how much they could have trained. I don’t know how it’s going to go this year for the draft. Maybe we should consider doing the draft at another time.

Blashill noted that few players make the jump from the NHL Draft anyway.

“Even if they did (go straight into the NHL) 99% of the time it’s probably not the best thing for them,” said Blashill. “Every once in a while you get a guy like (Auston) Matthews or (Connor) McDavid, who are so good at this level that they have to come in and play. But most of them, even the best, if you look at their early years, probably would have been better served by playing elsewhere.

“So if that delays a bit, I think it’s positive for the development of these people.”

New opponent

The Red Wings (3-9-2) visit Nashville (5-8-0) tonight (8 p.m. Fox Sports Detroit Plus), the only Central Division club they haven’t played.

Thomas Greiss will make his seventh consecutive start. Blashill has said Jonathan Bernier (upper body injury) may be available for Saturday’s game in Nashville.

Luke Glendening (upper body injury) will be seated for the second game in a row.

The Red Wings are 10-2 in their last 12 meetings with the Predators and have won six in a row in Nashville.

Blashill said Tyler Bertuzzi has not skated since suffering an upper body injury on January 30 and that it is not certain whether he will train immediately after the team return to Detroit Monday.

Following: Red Wings try not to cheat defensively for more offense

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