For example, the Philadelphia Flyers could not use their usual Quebec-area scouts due to travel restrictions, so they had to add staff to the Maritimes.
“It’s definitely been a challenge,” Philadelphia assistant general manager Brent Fleur said in a phone interview. “The good thing is that if it was 15 years ago, without the access to video programs and videos we had, this would have been an even bigger problem.”
Canada’s top three junior leagues, which are a major source of prospects, did not remain fully intact: the Western Hockey League played a regular season, but not after the season; The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is staging its own championship series; But the Ontario Hockey League didn’t play at all.
Center Mason McTavish, whose father briefly played in the NHL before pursuing a long career in Europe, was a displaced OHL product. McTavish, born in Switzerland but raised in Canada, played in Switzerland’s second-tier league and finished second in NHL Central Scouting’s North American skater rankings behind Power.
“Once the OHL postponed their start, I realized they were probably not going to start,” he said in a phone interview. “So I started looking around in November.”
“I really wanted to make sure I was being seen in my draft year,” he said.
The NCAA held its own championship, which was won by Massachusetts, but St. Lawrence, Notre Dame and Michigan were forced to withdraw from the tournament due to COVID-19 protocols.
This deprived the tournament of three new Michigan players who are potential top 10 picks – Power, center Matthew Benniers and leftist Kent Johnson. Beniers pulled out of Harvard with an uncertain Ivy League season.