Elliotte Friedman reveals potentially massive change to the NHL draft

Graham Montgomery
June 9, 2024  (11:23 PM)

The Sphere Las Vegas, advertising the 2024 NHL entry draft
Photo credit: NHL

With the NHL draft just around the corner, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman dropped a bombshell revelation about a potential change coming to the draft at the next collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

Apparently, there are a substantial number of people in the industry who believe there is going to be a big push to shorten the draft to just four rounds.
Some player agents believe the NHL Draft should be shortened to just 4 rounds, and there's a possibility that the NHLPA could fight for shortening the draft in the next CBA, per @FriedgeHNIC (32TP).

The reasoning is players that don't get contracts are mostly later-round picks, and people (mostly agents) wonder why players get tied to a team for 2-4 years, only to not get a contract from that team.

«They almost think it's like holding up a player from really beginning their NHL career. We'll see what happens there.»

The current CBA expires at the end of the 2025-26 season.

Friedman goes into much greater detail about why this might happen, but ultimately it sounds like a numbers game. He points out that very few late round picks actually end up getting contract offers from their teams. As such, it may be better to simply let undrafted players immediately become unrestricted free agents.
"There are some agents that believe, maybe even the PA believes it, that the draft should be shortened to four rounds. The reason is that there are very few players from rounds five, six, and seven, if you look at the players that don't get contracts, very few of them are high picks. Most of them are later picks." - Elliotte Friedman

Friedman's full analysis of the situation can be heard on the June 9th episode of 32 Thoughts.
Friedman and Marek have a back-and-fourth discussion about this possible change, listing the pros and cons of the move. Marek expressed concern that this would be one step closer to abolishing the draft altogether, which is something very few fans are in favor of. Luckily, Friedman quickly shot down the idea stating that there is no intention to do so.
Source: BladeofSteel
NHL may make major change to draft, would see over 100 less players drafted
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Elliotte Friedman reveals potentially massive change to the NHL draft

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