The Philadelphia Flyers, for example, couldn’t use their regular Quebec-area scouts due to travel restrictions, so they had to add staff in the Maritimes.
“It’s a challenge, for sure,” Brent Flahr, deputy general manager of Philadelphia, said in a telephone interview. “The good thing is if it was 15 years ago without the video programs and the access to video that we have, it would be an even bigger problem. “
Canada’s top three junior leagues, a major source of hope, did not remain unscathed: the Western Hockey League played a regular season but not a playoff; the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is organizing its championship series; but the Ontario Hockey League didn’t play at all.
Center Mason McTavish, whose father played in the NHL briefly before having a long career in Europe, was a misplaced OHL product. McTavish, born in Switzerland but raised in Canada, played in the Swiss second division league and finished second in the NHL Central Scouting North American skaters rankings behind Power.
“Once the OHL continued to postpone his departure, I realized he was probably not going to start,” he said in a telephone interview. “So I started looking in November. “
He added: “I really wanted to make sure I was going to be seen in my draft year.”
The NCAA held their championship, won by Massachusetts, but Saint-Laurent, Notre-Dame and Michigan were forced to withdraw from the tournament due to Covid-19 protocols.
That deprived the tournament of Michigan’s three freshman prospects who are potential top-10 picks – Power, center Matthew Beniers and left winger Kent Johnson. Beniers had pulled out of Harvard as the Ivy League season was uncertain.