Report: NHL to move ahead 2020 NHL Draft

Round 1 of the draft will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 6 with Rounds 2-7 to follow on Wednesday, Oct. 7

According to Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman, the National Hockey League is expected to move up the dates for the 2020 NHL Draft. The league will now conduct Round 1 of the draft on Tuesday, Oct. 6 with Rounds 2-7 to follow on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

When the original offseason schedule was released back in July, the league had scheduled the NHL Draft to get underway on Friday, Oct. 9 with the first round followed by the rest of the draft falling on Saturday, Oct. 10.

The original schedule for the Return To Play format also had the earliest start time for the Stanley Cup Final to take place on Sunday, Sept. 20 in the Edmonton bubble. However, with the last possible Game 7 date for the Eastern Conference Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, that opening of the Stanley Cup Final could be pushed back by a day or two.

The league expected to hold the final game of the Stanley Cup Final as late as Sunday, Oct. 4, but if both Conference Final matchups end sooner than expected, that date could be advanced even more.

The 2020 NHL Draft was set to take place in Montreal, Quebec this season before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the 2019-20 regular season and pushed its playoffs back to August. The league has not yet announced where or how the draft will take place, but a virtual draft similar to the NFL Draft could be the likely option.

In addition, TSN hockey reported Frank Seravalli reports that the opening of NHL Free Agency is set to get underway on Friday, Oct. 9.

The New York Rangers hold the first overall pick in the draft after winning Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery back on Aug. 10. With that pick, it is expected that they will select left winger Alexis Lafreniere, who is regarded as the consensus No. 1 overall player in this draft class.

Here is a look at the NHL Draft order, as of Sept. 8:

1.) New York Rangers
2.) Los Angeles Kings
3.) Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks)
4.) Detroit Red Wings
5.) Ottawa Senators
6.) Anaheim Ducks
7.) New Jersey Devils
8.) Buffalo Sabres
9.) Minnesota Wild
10.) Winnipeg Jets
11.) Nashville Predators
12.) Florida Panthers
13.) Carolina Hurricanes (from Toronto Maple Leafs)
14.) Edmonton Oilers
15.) Toronto Maple Leafs (from Pittsburgh Penguins)
16.) Montreal Canadiens
17.) Chicago Blackhawks
18.) New Jersey Devils (from Arizona Coyotes)
19.) Calgary Flames
20.) New Jersey Devils (from Tampa Bay Lightning via Vancouver Canucks)
21.) Columbus Blue Jackets
22.) New York Rangers (from Carolina Hurricanes)
23.) Philadelphia Flyers
24.) Colorado Avalanche
25.) Washington Capitals
26.) St. Louis Blues
27.) Anaheim Ducks (from Boston Bruins)