Next collective bargaining agreement will move the draft to older ages. Your already seeing teams move in that direction by drafting more kids in 2nd or 3rd year of eligiblity. The number if NCAA unrestricted FA's now signing deals is another indicator. You just don't know what a kid will be when many have not even finished growing yet. The challenge will always be that if you put it older, what do you do with the exceptional players who are ready at 18/19. They will come up with something and it will be good for the game. The pressure on HS kids to go to the USHL or Major Junior so early will be lessened and kids will have a little more breathing room to grow and develop during HS versus rushing off because some "advisor" or agent says you have to in order to be drafted.
Yeah, the NHL and Canadian Major Junior Hockey are going to change everything to appease the US high schools, colleges and the USHL.
Thanks wingnut but that's not what I said.. They will change it because it's easier to draft and project 19-20 year olds than it is 18's. The bye-product of this will be for the better of HS kids not running around during HS years just because the draft comes right after graduation.
And what happens to the 18-19 year olds that are NHL ready like you've recently have seen? Do they wait on some beach for their shot or do they put up a couple points a game in junior hockey?
Ahhhhhhhhh, I dunno. You think Connor McDavid would do well in Junior hockey this year?
Allow for exceptional player exemption like the CHL does now. Real tough stuff to grasp.
Taking older players at the NHL draft a new trend | Toronto Star
Headlines: NHL discussing moving draft age to 19 - Sportsnet.ca
NHL draft age change proposal | SI.com
They really do not have to change much if anything. If an NHL team wants to draft a 17 year old kid, so be it. If they want to draft a third year eligible, so be it. I think the real issue is how do the NHL teams protect themselves from loosing an asset ( like Vesey) after three years of waiting. This is probably why so many NHL teams signed all of these underclassmen this summer because of the Vesey situation.
End of the day, the NHL teams do not invest much in a draft pick while waiting for them to sign. However, to be left high and dry leaves them pretty bitter!