Wow. That’s all I can really say. The rate that the COVID-19 pandemic has engulfed the sporting world has been alarming to say the least. It’s to the point that even as I begin to write this relatively benign coverage piece, I can’t help but think that the moment it’s published it will be outdated.
Today’s goal is to simply provide a recap of everything in the hockey prospect world that has been impacted by the spread, and also touch on what you can do to mitigate it’s impact on YOUR fantasy team. A couple notes I want to make clear before we begin the review though:
- I am not a doctor or medical professional. Obviously. I don’t know any more than anyone reading this about the details of the virus spread.
- This seems to be a rapidly evolving process. Surely there will be additional details released in the coming days. The target of this piece is simply to consolidate as much prospect information as possible as it relates to COVID-19.
Over less than a 24-hour span. The NHL went from no games postponed, to all games postponed. What began as a simple mandate to play in front of zero fans in Columbus and San Jose has suddenly expanded into an all-out hockey lock down. For all intents and purposes, the NHL, IIHF, AHL, ECHL, CHL, USHL and more have simultaneously halted all competition. As it stands, this indefinite suspension could entirely write off both the regular season, and playoffs, although, the league has indicated that there is a mitigation plan in the works, should the pandemic deescalate.
The news has a massive impact on the hockey prospect world, with one of the primary impacts to NHL teams, and the hockey world as a whole coming as the IIHF explicitly cancels the U-18 tournament which was scheduled for mid-to-late April.
The lack of this exposure has a significant impact for NHL teams as it’s one of the last opportunities for domestic scouts to get first-hand eyes on international talents. In the past this tournament has almost certainly made the difference in where foreign players are selected in the draft, if at all.