STOCKHOLM -- A change is coming to the NHL Draft, but the League may wait until 2025 to implement it.
Speaking before the first game of the 2023 NHL Global Series Sweden presented by Fastenal on Thursday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly discussed the draft and other topics, including plans for a World Cup and participation by NHL players in the 2026 Milano Cortina Olympics in Italy.
Bettman said the idea of exploring the change where most team representatives will stay in their home cities instead of having all 32 clubs represented on the draft floor came from a few teams.
"We were very comfortable, and still are, with the format that we've been using," Bettman said. "It's different than anybody else uses, and we kind of liked it. This was an organic proposal that a number of clubs suggested, and we said we're not going to fight it. We'll take a poll of all the clubs and the overwhelming majority want to make a change."
Daly said the NHL is still trying to determine if it can happen for the 2024 NHL Draft.
"The only open issue is whether we do that as early as 2024 or whether we push it 2025," Daly said. "I think our objective is to have a 2024 draft that looks a lot like our traditional draft and then transition in 2025, but we don't have enough information to say that's what's going to happen."
Bettman said even with the change, the draft will still be a special event on the NHL calendar.
"The event in either format is still the major event, there's still going to be fans invited, the players, the prospects are going to be there with their families," Bettman said. "The only difference will be whether or not the clubs will be on the floor meeting as opposed to being at home where they can do their own fan events in market and they have more access to all their personnel in real time."
With the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild in Stockholm for the 2023 Global Series, the question of an international calendar was raised. As Daly has said previously, the hopes are to have a World Cup in February of 2025 and NHL players participate in the Winter Olympics the following year.
"We're working with the (NHL) Players' Association on the construct of [the World Cup]," Daly said. "And then after that, we would like to be in a regular rotation between the Olympics and the World Cup every other year. One or the other.
"That obviously involves us having an agreement to go to Milan, and that is still a work in progress. All parties are aligned in terms of trying to make it happen, so hopefully in the next couple of months, we'll have a good understanding of where we are."