Lias Andersson

2020 NHL Draft postponed Combine Awards
via NHL

2020 NHL Draft, Combine, Awards have been postponed

While the 2019-20 season remains on “pause,” the NHL announced that the 2020 NHL Draft, Combine, and Awards have all been postponed.

The league explains that the “location, timing, and format” of the 2020 NHL Draft (and corresponding lottery) will be announced once details have been finalized. This makes sense, as The Athletic’s Craig Custance reports that the league and team executives are battering around different ideas about how to handle the lottery (sub required).

(Sadly, Custance’s report also mostly shoots down the most-fun ideas, like a tournament among cellar dwellers to decide who gets the top pick. Perhaps that would be too exciting?)

The Combine was originally set for June 1-6 in Buffalo, the awards ceremony was going to take place in Las Vegas once again on June 18, while the 2020 NHL Draft was originally set for June 26-27 in Montreal.

If the NHL parallels other sports leagues, these events will likely be handled mostly online and in scaled-down formats, but we’ll wait and see.

Lamenting the Draft, Combine, Awards being postponed

Those looking for the biggest losers of this announcement will focus on:

  • Scouts, and other people who want to know if someone can or cannot do pull-ups.
  • People who love to laugh at awkward Combine photos, assuming that sweaty event doesn’t happen at all.

Actually, quick question. Which genre of Combine photo is more amusing? Do you rate the various funny faces while lifting shots the highest?

NHL Draft Lottery postponed no Combine lifting faces Lias Andersson
Sorry, Lias Andersson. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

… Or those V02 tests from earlier Combines, where the shenanigans went from cheeky to cruel once they got rid of those masks? (Waits for bad Bane impressions.)

NHL Draft Lottery postponed no Combine Bane Leon Draisaitl
Sorry, too, to Leon Draisaitl (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Actually, the answer is probably c) wild hockey hair photos.

NHL Draft Lottery postponed no Combine Timothy Liljegren
Timothy Liljegren somehow not touching one of those static energy machines at a science museum (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
  • Also losing: anyone wondering if Kenan Thompson would be back for another strong Awards performance. Would his rivalry with the Lightning have continued? We may never know.

Anyway, we still await bigger announcements regarding the 2019-20 NHL season, but now we know that the Draft, Combine, and Awards will be postponed. (Again, it’s fair to wonder how the Combine can really function. Rigorous workouts on Skype or Zoom? I’m running out of streaming platforms here, gang.)

Let’s be honest, shutting down the Awards in Vegas was kind of a no-brainer for public health, if nothing else. Trust me on that one.

MORE:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

PHT Morning Skate: Creating more offense; Best Game 7

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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• ECHL players have been left in a financial mess because of the league’s abrupt cancellation. (The Hockey News)

• Here’s three innovative ways to create more offense in hockey. (The Coaches Site)

• ESPN gives you the latest updates when it comes to the Covid-19 pause. (ESPN)

• The NHL.com panel debates which Game 7s were the best. (NHL)

• Every jersey worn in 2019-20 gets ranked. There were some nice ones, but some clunkers too. (Jackets Cannon)

• Here’s a list of five players in Providence that could make the jump up to the NHL next season. (Stanley Cup of Chowder)

• What’s next for Lias Andersson and the New York Rangers? (New York Post)

• Could the Penguins get a first-round pick in the upcoming draft after all? (Pensburgh)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

PHT Morning Skate: Blues looking for top-6 winger; Pacific Division race

NHL News
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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• General manager Doug Armstrong says the St. Louis Blues could be in the market for a top-six forward. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

• Canucks, Oilers, Flames prime for mad dash in crowded Pacific Division. (TSN)

• Five reasons for fans to be concerned about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Sportsnet)

• General mangers on the hot seat as the NHL trade deadline approaches. (Spector’s Hockey)

• Has Valeri Nichushkin been Joe Sakic’s best offseason addition for the Colorado Avalanche? (Mile High Hockey)

Matt Dumba‘s good deed went viral, even if he wished it did not. (Pioneer Press)

Matthew Tkachuk‘s chippy controversy is no surprise to Blues players that watched him growing up. (Sporting News)

• Commitment to team defense driving Penguins’ success. (The Point)

• Ex-Penguin Mark Johnson has made his own impact on women’s hockey. (Tribune-Review)

• What the Chicago Blackhawks have done and what they still need to do. (Daily Herald)

• The New York Rangers have officially loaned forward Lias Andersson to HV71 of the Swedish League. (Blueshirt Banter)

• Looking back at the Capitals’ history winning streak a decade later. (NOVA Caps Fans)

Jakub Vrana gives the Washington Capitals something they have not had in more than a decade. (Japers’ Rink)

• Demanding remaining schedule awaits the Nashville Predators. (On The Forecheck)

• NWHL responds to comments about league on Sportsnet. (The Ice Garden)

• The New York Rangers have been the best investment for hockey bettors. (New York Post)

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Rangers’ Chytil blasts through Ducks defense for great goal

Chytil goal
Getty Images

Times have been tough for young Rangers players, but a beautiful Filip Chytil goal highlights their promise. Chytil showed speed, hands, and finishing ability in slicing through the Anaheim Ducks’ defense on Sunday.

Again, that goal stands in contrast to some troubling updates for some of the Rangers’ prospects/young players. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Lias Andersson wants out via a trade. Also, the Rangers didn’t just lose their third consecutive game on Friday; 2019 second overall pick Kaapo Kakko also suffered an injury.

So, yeah, Chytil scoring this splendid goal could soothe some uneasy feelings. Either way, enjoy this beauty of a goal:

Could this Chytil goal start another hot streak?

Chytil burst onto the scene once the Rangers called him up in late October.

The 20-year-old scored a goal in each of his first two games, setting off a hot run of six goals and one assist in eight games. By late November, Chytil generated 10 points (including eight goals) in an impressive 16 contests.

For whatever reason, Chytil froze up with the weather starting in December. Before scoring that sensational Sunday goal, Chytil managed just one assist in nine games this month. Call it a chicken-and-the-egg situation, but either way, his ice time has dropped from 16:37 per night in November to less than 14 minutes per game in December heading into this afternoon.

Later in the game, Chytil suffered a scary fall. The early word is that Chytil might avoid an injury:

Kreider value rising?

While fans watch young players develop, other GMs are eyeing potential trade targets — at least if the Rangers end up as sellers.

Chris Kreider looms as the most obvious person to watch, even if the Rangers hang in there. He’s a pending UFA, so Kreider simply might not fit into their long-term plans. Games like Sunday could pump up Kreider’s trade value, as he has two goals (and counting?) against the Ducks.

The Rangers beat the Ducks 5-1.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Lias Andersson reportedly asks Rangers for trade

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New York Rangers prospect Lias Andersson, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 draft, has reportedly asked the team for a trade.

That is according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, who also adds that Andersson is no longer with the team and that general manager Jeff Gorton will use the holiday trade freeze to assess the market for the 21-year-old forward.

It will be interesting to see what that market looks like.

Andersson’s development has been a pretty big point of discussion among the Rangers’ fan base. The Rangers drafted Andersson with the pick acquired in the blockbuster trade that sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes. The Rangers also received defenseman Tony DeAngelo in that deal.

Both players figured to be key parts of the Rangers’ rebuild, but Andersson has not developed as anyone had hoped. How that happened is where the issue comes in for the Rangers. On one hand, he has not been given a consistent look in the NHL or significant ice time. As true as that is, he has also struggled stand out and force his way in the lineup.

In 66 NHL games with the Rangers he has three goals and nine total points over parts of three seasons. That includes zero goals and one assist in 17 games this season. His AHL numbers are slightly better during his career, scoring 15 goals and 34 points in 74 games.

Given the way his development has played out the Rangers should not expect a significant return should they choose to honor the request and trade him. It would, however, be a pretty good opportunity for another team to take a low-risk gamble and hope they can catch lightning in a bottle. Maybe a fresh start in a new organization helps. He is still only 21 years old, and even though he was considered a bit of an overdraft at the time he is still only a couple of years removed from being a top-10 pick. Someone is going to see some potential there and think they can make it work. You have to think the usual suspects — talent starved or rebuilding teams — would have at least some interest. Teams like Ottawa, Edmonton, Los Angeles, or Detroit would all immediately come to mind.

UPDATE:

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.