The 2021 NHL Draft Raises a Question

It all began with simple tweet by yours truly.

In a following tweet, I tagged Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet who provided some insight on his 31-Thoughts.

In his column, Friedman said “I looked into it and was told these things still need to be sorted out.”

Why is this important? Well, for players drafted out of the Canadian Hockey League there are only two choices for them: 1) make the NHL roster or 2) Return back to their Junior club. In other words, the American Hockey League is not an option. Players drafted outside the CHL are eligible to play in the AHL.

The unanimous response I was getting on twitter was that the players are on loan and therefore are considered being drafted from the OHL.

Not so fast. I’ve done some checking.

Under the Transition Rules agreed to by the NHL and the NHLPA, Article 8 answers the question definitively.

For purposes of determining where a Player who is drafted in the 2021 NHL Draft was “drafted from” under the provisions of Article 8, a Player will be deemed to have been “drafted from” the league and team as follows:

 i) if the Player played during the 2020-21 season, the league and team for which he played during the 2020-21 season as per traditional practice, provided, however:

A) if the Player played in a league outside North America during the 2020-21 season but had never played in a league outside North America prior to the 2020-21 season, the league and team for which he played during the 2019-20 season as per the traditional practice,

B) if the Player played in North America during the 2020-21 season but had never played in North America prior to 2020-21, the league and team for which he played during the 2019-20 season as per the traditional practice,

ii) if the Player did not play during the 2020-21 season, then the league and team for which he played during the 2019-20 season as per the traditional practice.

i) A) is the important one for OHL players that played in Europe. If a player played in Europe this season and has played in Europe prior to the 2020-21 season, then that player will be considered “drafted from Europe” and therefore be eligible to play in the AHL.

If a player played in Europe this season but has never played in Europe prior to the 2020-21 season, then that player will be considered drafted from the OHL and not eligible to play in the AHL.

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