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Friedman: NHL teams vote to decentralize the draft

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

A new report suggests that a majority of NHL teams have voted to decentralize the league’s draft away from one location.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in his 32 Thoughts column that ballots from each team were due earlier this week and discussions on how the league decides to move forward will take place when the annual GM meetings take place in November and the Board of Governors meetings take place in December.

Friedman says in his report that some teams felt like that the draft being held just days before free agency was a time and cost issue, and also says that some teams felt the proximity of tables on the draft floor led to their plans being overheard and discovered.

While no concrete plans are made, Friedman says that he hopes the NHL finds a way to make it new and exciting and compared his hopes to what the NBA does currently, with an annual convention in July.

He says that this type of plan could feature coaching clinics, equipment displays, job fairs in hockey, fashion and style, music and parties, and more.

The tentative time frame for the new format could begin in 2025, leaving opening the possibility for one last full in-person draft for the 2024 season.

To read more from Elliotte’s reporting, click here.