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NHL postpones draft, awards show because of coronavirus

Both were scheduled for June, in Montreal and Las Vegas, respectively. A new draft date will be announced later.
The Tampa Bay Lightning locker room doors are seen amidst any empty Amalie Arena on March 12, the day the NHL announced it was putting its season on hold because of the coronavirus. The league announced Wednesday that it is postponing its draft and awards show because of the virus. [CHRIS URSO | Times]

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The NHL on Wednesday postponed its draft, season awards ceremony and scouting combine because of the coronavirus pandemic.

All the events were scheduled for June: the draft June 26-27 in Montreal, the awards show June 18 in Las Vegas, and the combine June 1-6 in Buffalo, N.Y.

The league said it would announce a new date, location and format for the draft and draft lottery later.

As for the awards ceremony, the league said only that it “looks forward to returning to Las Vegas in the future.” Las Vegas has host the awards show since 2009.

The scouting combine traditionally is the last chance for draft-eligible players to make an impression on team executives. The projected top pick is Canadian wing Alexis Lafreniere, 18, who played this season for Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior League. Most of North America’s top junior leagues have canceled the rest of their seasons.

The NHL put its season on pause March 12 because of the coronavirus and is working on scenarios of what it would look like if it is able to resume this season.

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