NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged the Seattle-based franchise has dealt with arena construction delays but said the expansion team is still in the mix to host the draft in 2021, according to Tim Booth of The Associated Press.
Daly said the NHL hopes to determine a host at least one year before the event takes place and clarified that it will consider more than just the various buildings around the league when choosing where the draft will be held. He reiterated Gary Bettman's past pledge that Seattle will likely host one eventually.
"There are a lot of logistical issues you have to make sure are squared away before you make a decision like that," he said. "If (Seattle doesn't) get the draft in '21, it's not going to be long before (it hosts) a draft. That's been part of our discussions already. It's really part of the ownership transaction."
The arena at Seattle Center is being renovated to accommodate the new club and officials were hoping it would be ready by early spring 2021, but the project has been slowed by a change in contractors and design delays.
Bettman revealed in January that the NHL promised Seattle an All-Star Game within seven years, while also floating the possibility of a future draft and outdoor game being held there.
The new franchise is scheduled to begin play in the 2021-22 season.