Dates and times set for 2020 NHL Draft

The long wait is nearly over for the eligible players for the 2020 NHL Draft.

The league announced on Friday that the opening round will be held virtually on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. CST, with rounds 2-7 getting underway at 9:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Those dates, along with the start of NHL Free Agency on Friday, Oct. 9, align the NHL league calendar with the last possible day of the Stanley Cup final on Sunday, Oct. 4.

The 2020 NHL Entry Draft was originally scheduled to be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal on June 26 and 27, but it was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Rimouski Oceanic star forward Alexis Lafreniere is expected to be taken first overall by the New York Rangers, while forwards Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves and Tim Stutzle of Adler Mannheim are both candidates to be chosen with the second overall selection by the Los Angeles Kings.

Prince Albert product Braden Schneider, who is a defenceman for the Brandon Wheat Kings, and Prince Albert Raiders blueliner Kaiden Guhle are both projected to be picked in the middle of the opening round.

Raiders forward Ozzy Wiesblatt is expected to be picked in the first two rounds, while his teammates Landon Kosior and Ilya Usau have both been ranked by NHL Central Scouting.

Former Prince Albert Mintos forward Josh Pillar, who just completed his sophomore season with the Kamloops Blazers, and former Raiders Rhett Rhinehart and Jakob Brook are also eligible to be selected.