NHL News

Here’s when playoffs begin and lottery, awards, draft are scheduled

Regina Pats center Connor Bedard is the top-ranked prospect in the 2023 NHL draft.

The NHL regular season is heading into the stretch drive, with plenty of playoff positions and individual awards still to be decided.

The general managers meetings in Florida just ended with discussions of how to better protect against injuries from skate cuts and the possibility of additional areas for coaches challenges, such as shooting the puck over the glass.

The league also released the dates for the NHL draft lottery, the scouting combine, the potential start of the Stanley Cup Final, the awards show and the two days of the entry draft.

Here are the scheduled key dates for the remainder of the 2022-23 NHL season:

When will the NHL regular season end?

The NHL regular season is scheduled to end April 14 with two rescheduled games: Buffalo at Columbus and Colorado at Nashville. There will be 30 teams in action on April 13, including Boston at Montreal. The Bruins have a chance to break the NHL record of most wins in a season (62).

When will the Stanley Cup playoffs start?

The Stanley Cup playoffs are scheduled to start on April 17. As usual, the four division winners will face a wild-card team from their conference in the first round, and the No. 2 team in each division will face the No. 3 team from its division. Though some would like to see a 1-vs.-8 format, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters that the current format “is working well, and we’re not looking to make changes.”

Regina Pats center Connor Bedard is the top-ranked prospect in the 2023 NHL draft.

When will the NHL draft lottery be held?

It will be held at 7 p.m. ET on May 8 and be shown on ESPN. The lottery will draw special attention this year because generational talent Connor Bedard is the prize. Teams can move up a maximum of 10 spots, meaning only the bottom 11 teams have a chance to select the high-scoring Regina (Saskatchewan) Pats center. But this year’s draft is deep, with University of Michigan forward Adam Fantilli and Swedish forward Leo Carlsson expected to go high.

CONNOR BEDARD WATCH: Who has best chance to draft generational talent?

When is the scheduled start of the Stanley Cup Final?

The winners of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference playoffs are scheduled to start playing in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final on June 3, though that’s subject to change. The 2-2-1-1-1 format will open at the arena of the team with the most points. TNT will air the games.

When will the scouting combine be held?

The scouting combine is scheduled for June 4-10…

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