NHL sets dates for 2021 NHL Draft
The NHL and NHLPA have announced the key dates for the 2020-21 NHL season, including the 2021 NHL Draft.
On Tuesday, the league confirmed that the upcoming NHL Draft will be held over two days, July 23-24, 2021. The 23rd will see Round 1 of the draft and the 24th will hold rounds 2 to 7.
This draft will look a little different than in past years, starting with the location. For now, the 2021 edition of the draft has no official host city.
We may end up seeing something similar to the 2020 NHL Draft. This past season’s event was initially planned for Montreal, Quebec before the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to move virtual four months later than planned. With the NHL likely planning for all situations, the dates for this year’s draft are unlikely to move, but whether or not we see it held in an arena could still be up in the air.
The other change in the 2021 NHL Draft is the addition of the NHL Expansion team, the Seattle Kraken. Since the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights, we’ve seen 217 prospects selected annually – although 2020 had 216 due to the Arizona Coyotes being stripped of their second-round selection due to violating combine testing policies.
With Kraken making selections in their first NHL Draft, 224 prospects will now hear their names called. However, 2021 will actually only see 223 prospects selected as the Coyotes were also stripped of their 2021 first rounder for those combine violations.