For this season only, 18- and 19-year-old draftees will have just five games to show their stuff before their NHL teams must decide whether to keep them (and use up a year of their entry-level contracts) or send them back to junior.
That’s according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, who tweets that the previous nine-game limit is expected to return for the 2013-14 season and beyond.
Obviously this is being done because the NHL is playing a shortened season following the lockout.
Teenagers that are expected to compete for roster spots include Nail Yakupov (Oilers), Dougie Hamilton (Bruins), Boone Jenner (Blue Jackets), and Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida).
It remains to be seen how the shortened season will affect teams’ decisions in this regard. In a mad dash for the playoffs, some clubs may want steady veterans in there, not unproven prospects.