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Agents want to reduce the number of draft rounds
Credit: Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images
Right now, as you know, the NHL draft has seven rounds. When it comes to analyzing the prospects who will be selected, we talk mostly about the first rounds.

The other rounds are just less popular.

That’s true publicly, but it’s also true for some players’ agents. According to Elliotte Friedman’s podcast, many agents would like to see the draft reduced from seven to four rounds.

Why don’t they? Because agents have the feeling that the prospects who are drafted in the later rounds are often the ones who don’t end up with a contract. So they can go elsewhere, but several years after they’ve been drafted.

This would follow the model of baseball, which recently reduced its draft from 50 to 30 rounds. That’s mostly because organizations have fewer teams in the minors than they used to, but still: the result is still a reduction in draft rounds.

So agents figure that if prospects weren’t drafted, they could go to teams that would be interested in signing them as free agents, instead of being “stuck” for years with an organization that has to deal with a contract limit.

The Players’ Association could fight for this, by the way, in view of the next collective agreement in 2026.

In recent years, the Habs have had a few players drafted by the club in rounds five through seven who are making an impact with the big club. Sometimes that’s what makes the difference for teams.

Joshua Roy, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, Cayden Primeau, Michael Pezzetta, Jake Evans and Brendan Gallagher, who was a very important player in his prime, are all examples of the current edition.

Having said that, you’d think that if there were only four rounds, there would be more cases a la Arber Xhekaj, signed after being ignored. The Harvey-Pinard cases, drafted older to test him in the AHL, would become signed players rather than drafted… but would they sign in Montreal?

Having such a system would make the remaining 128 picks even more valuable. This would undoubtedly change their value on the transaction market, including at the trade deadline.

It would also make it harder for the Habs to draft Quebecers from the QMJHL.

It’s worth noting that on the Habs coaching staff , two men (Martin St-Louis and Alex Burrows) were not drafted, and two others (Stéphane Robidas and Trevor Letowski) were long shots when they were playing. All four had long NHL careers.

In brief

– The Lions are three years old.

– Really?

– LPHF: what if Montreal chose Phil Kessel’s sister?[JdeM]

– No, Calgary doesn’t support the Oilers.

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