Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman will have his work cut out for him this offseason, as his team will likely be getting the chance to make a big play for their future with a high draft pick.
As it stands, the team currently holds the second best odds (behind the Ottawa Senators) of landing the 1st overall draft pick in this year’s annual festivities. The widely expected first selection is projected to be Quebec Major Junior Hockey League phenom Alexis Lafrienere.
But when and where the Draft will be held is still up in the air. The NHL was forced to shut down thanks to the spread of COVID-19, and right now the League is looking at options to potentially finish the regular season and playoffs so that a Stanley Cup champion can be named.
Among the possibilities discussed was holding a virtual NHL Draft in June before play were to potentially resume, much in the same manner as the NFL Draft last week. However, Yzerman doesn’t exactly sound like a fan of that plan.
“I think ultimately they’ll decide what makes the most sense depending on what the ultimate conditions are,” Yzerman said in a Facebook Live interview preceding Fox Sports Detroit’s rebroadcast of the Red Wings’ Stanley Cup-clinching Game 4 victory in 1997. “Obviously, the draft has never taken place prior to the end of the Stanley Cup or the end of the season. We don’t know when that’s gonna be. It was just suggested possibly, you know, we’ve got all these things on the list, ‘Should we consider getting the draft out of the way early?’
“My thought is why would you do that, why would you need to do that? There’s a lot of things that are affected, obviously. The draft position hasn’t been established, we don’t know who’s in the playoffs, or who’s out of the playoffs, in some cases. So if there’s a lot of questions, and ultimately if it needs to be done prior to, we’ll figure it out. But at this time, my own opinion is I haven’t really heard a good reason why we should do it prior to the end of the season, if we do conclude the season over the course of the summer.”
But before the Draft can be held, teams will need to know exactly what position they’ll be drafting in. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Yzerman is able to land the 1st overall pick!
– – Quotes via John Niyo of The Detroit News Link – –