NHL assures Canadiens of future draft after postponement
Brian Babineau / National Hockey League / Getty

The Montreal Canadiens will get to host an NHL draft one way or another.

Steve Mayer, the league's chief content officer, seemingly said as much to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun on Thursday.

"We went to Montreal and they were awesome," Mayer said. "Nowadays, everyone understands that this is the way of the world (with the coronavirus)."

The Canadiens will likely get a traditional draft in 2021 or 2022, the executive added, as those events haven't been awarded to another franchise yet. However, he cautioned that it depends on the logistics of holding an event in Montreal at that time.

The NHL postponed several events, including the draft and the awards show, Wednesday. The league was paused March 12 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayer - who's the "all-around NHL events guru," according to LeBrun - outlined three draft options the league is exploring. Firstly, despite its unlikelihood, Mayer said there could still be a full draft event in Montreal later this year if the season can resume early enough.

Secondly, the league could hold a scaled-down event featuring fewer team personnel and prospects. Thirdly, Mayer revealed that a virtual draft is being considered.

"We're looking at that as well," he said. "(It) is probably ... one of the more likely (scenarios) at this point, given where we are in the world. We'd have cameras set up in every war room, bring in as many prospects as we can, (and) have a team representative (from each club)."

Mayer cautioned that the NHL hasn't decided on any of the potential plans and will continue to look into them.

Montreal was originally scheduled to host the 2020 NHL Draft on June 26-27.

NHL assures Canadiens of future draft after postponement
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