Alexis Lafreniere was supposed to hear his named called in front of family, friends and an adoring crowd inside Montreal’s Bell Centre.

The presumptive top pick in the 2020 NHL draft from Quebec would then climb on stage, shake hands with Commissioner Gary Bettman and pull on the jersey of his new team -- presumably the New York Rangers.

The pandemic, however, took care of that.

The draft originally was scheduled for June 26 and 27. Instead, the league this week will instead hold a pared-down draft by video conference. The first round is Tuesday, with rounds two through seven on Wednesday.

“It’s been a pretty long (wait),” Lafreniere said. “It’s coming pretty soon.”

The Rangers beat the odds and won the second phase of the lottery in August, setting them up to take the flashy winger.

Lafreniere is the top-ranked North American skater, according to NHL Central Scouting. He is a two-time Canadian Hockey League player of the year, having totaled 35 goals and 112 points in 52 games before the 2019-20 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season was canceled.

Lafreniere was the MVP of this year’s world junior hockey championship after leading Canada to a gold medal. He would join a forward group in New York that includes Hart Trophy finalist Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and 2019 No. 2 selection Kaapo Kakko.

“The Rangers are a really big organization, a really good team,” said Lafreniere, who turns 19 on Sunday. “We’ll see what happens, but it’s a really exciting thing.”

Things should get more interesting once the Los Angeles Kings are on the clock, likely choosing between center Quinton Byfield of the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves or winger Tim Stuetzle from Germany’s top pro division.

Stuetzle is the top-ranked European skater and has been likened to Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane. Stuetzle says he’ll watch the first round in the middle of the night in Germany.

The Ottawa Senators own the No .3 pick — acquired from the San Jose Sharks two years ago as part of the Erik Karlsson trade — as well as the fifth selection. If they hold onto both, they’ll become just the eighth team since 1969 to choose twice in the top five and the first since 2000. The Detroit Red Wings pick fourth.

Among the players who could also fall in the top 10 are: smooth-skating defenseman Jamie Drysdale of the OHL’s Erie Otters; blueliner Jake Sanderson of the U.S. under-18 program; forward Cole Perfetti of the OHL’s Sarina Sting, Swedish forwards Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond; center Marco Rossi on the OHL’s Ottawa 67′s; winger Jack Quinn of Ottawa; and Russian goalie Yaroslav Askarov.

“We’ve gone through multiple scenarios, we’ve had multiple mock drafts,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said. “We’ll be ready.”

The NHL finished its pandemic-delayed season inside the Edmonton and Toronto bubbles and under tight health and safety guidelines. June’s draft combine was canceled, meaning there was no physical testing of prospects and no in-person interviews.

“It’s certainly been a challenge,” Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. “Everybody’s had to adjust.”

Flames general manager Brad Treliving said it will be a change conducting the draft remotely.

“We have a few of our people coming in,” he said. “The biggest difference is we won’t have all of our scouts in attendance.”

The NFL and WNBA held virtual drafts because of the pandemic in the spring, with both going relatively smoothly.

“We’ve talked with other GMs from other sports that have had to go through this,” San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said. “We’ll have enough setup that we’ll have all of our staff accessible.”

___

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.

2020 NHL Draft order
Round 1
1. New York Rangers
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (from SJS)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
9. Minnesota Wild
10. Winnipeg Jets
11. Nashville Predators
12. Florida Panthers
13. Carolina Hurricanes (from TOR)
14. Edmonton Oilers
15. Toronto Maple Leafs (from PIT)
16. Montreal Canadiens
17. Chicago Blackhawks
18. New Jersey Devils (from ARZ)
19. Calgary Flames
20. New Jersey Devils (from VAN via TB)
21. Columbus Blue Jackets
22. New York Rangers (from CAR)
23. Philadelphia Flyers
24. Washington Capitals
25. Colorado Avalanche
26. St. Louis Blues
27. Anaheim Ducks (from BOS)
28. Ottawa Senators (from NYI)
29. Vegas Golden Knights
30. Dallas Stars
31. San Jose Sharks (from TB)

Round 2
32. Detroit Red Wings
33. Ottawa Senators
34. San Jose Sharks
35. Los Angeles Kings
36. Anaheim Ducks
37. Nashville Predators (from NJ)
38. Buffalo Sabres
39. Minnesota Wild
40. Winnipeg Jets
41. Carolina Hurricanes (from NYR)
42. Nashville Predators
43. Florida Panthers
44. Toronto Maple Leafs
45. Detroit Red Wings (from EDM)
46. Chicago Blackhawks (from PIT via VGK)
47. Montreal Canadiens
48. Montreal Canadiens (from CHI)
49. No selection (Originally Arizona Coyotes*)
50. Calgary Flames
51. Los Angeles Kings (from VAN)
52. Ottawa Senators (from CBJ)
53. Carolina Hurricanes
54. Philadelphia Flyers
55. Detroit Red Wings (from WSH)
56. San Jose Sharks (from COL via WSH)
57. Montreal Canadiens (from STL)
58. Boston Bruins
59. Ottawa Senators (from NYI)
60. Los Angeles Kings (from VGK)
61. Ottawa Senators (from DAL via VGK)
62. Tampa Bay Lightning

*Coyotes forfeit pick No. 49 due to punishment for violating NHL pre-combine testing rules.

Round 3
63. Detroit Red Wings
64. Ottawa Senators
65. Detroit Red Wings (from SJ)
66. Los Angeles Kings
67. Anaheim Ducks
68. Vegas Golden Knights (from NJ)
69. Carolina Hurricanes (from BUF)
70. Nashville Predators (from MIN)
71. Ottawa Senators (from WPG)
72. New York Rangers
73. Nashville Predators
74. Florida Panthers
75. Colorado Avalanche (from TOR)
76. Edmonton Oilers++
77. Pittsburgh Penguins
78. Montreal Canadiens
79. Chicago Blackhawks
80. Washington Capitals (from ARI via COL)
81. Calgary Flames+++
82. Vancouver Canucks
83. Los Angeles Kings (from CBJ via OTT via TOR)
84. New Jersey Devils (from CAR)
85. Tampa Bay Lightning (from PHI via SJ)
86. St. Louis Blues (from WSH via MTL)
87. Florida Panthers (from COL)
88. St. Louis Blues
89. Boston Bruins
90. New York Islanders
91. Vegas Golden Knights
92. New York Rangers (from DAL)
93. Tampa Bay Lightning

++ Oilers have yet to announce whether they will give their 2020 or 2021 third-round pick to the Flames as part of the James Neal trade. If they give up the 2020 choice, the Blackhawks will get No. 76 as part of the Erik Gustafsson treads. If they give up their 2021 pick, the Blackhawks will get the No. 81 pick from the Flames.

+++ If Calgary does not receive Edmonton’s 2020 third-round pick, they will send their own 2020 third-round pick to the Blackhawks.

Round 4
94. Tampa Bay Lightning (from DET)
95. Florida Panthers *(from OTT)
96. Calgary Flames (from SJ vis MTL via BUF)
97. Los Angeles Kings
98. Montreal Canadiens (from ANA)
99. New Jersey Devils
100. Buffalo Sabres
101. Minnesota Wild
102. Montreal Canadiens (from WPG)
103. New York Rangers
104. Anaheim Ducks (from NSH via PHI)
105. Florida Panthers
106. Toronto Maple Leafs
107. Detroit Red Wings (from EDM)
108. Pittsburgh Penguins
109. Montreal Canadiens
110. Chicago Blackhawks
111. Arizona Coyotes
112. Los Angeles Kings (from CGY)
113. Vancouver Canucks
114. Columbus Blue Jackets
115. Carolina Hurricanes
116. Philadelphia Flyers
117. Washington Capitals
118. Colorado Avalanche
119. St. Louis Blues
120. New Jersey Devils (from BOS)
121. New York Islanders
122. Toronto Maple Leafs (from VGK)
123. Dallas Stars
124. Tampa Bay Lightning

Round 5
125. Detroit Red Wings
126. San Jose Sharks (from OTT)
127. San Jose Sharks
128. Los Angeles Kings
129. Anaheim Ducks
130. New Jersey Devils
131. Buffalo Sabres
132. Minnesota Wild
133. Winnipeg Jets
134. New York Rangers
135. Nashville Predators
136. Montreal Canadiens (from FLA)
137. Florida Panthers (from TOR)
138. Edmonton Oilers
139. Pittsburgh Penguins
140. Carolina Hurricanes (from MTL)
141. Chicago Blackhawks
142. Arizona Coyotes
143. Calgary Flames
144. Vancouver Canucks
145. Columbus Blue Jackets
146. St. Louis Blues (from CAR)
147. Philadelphia Flyers
148. Washington Capitals
149. Colorado Avalanche
150. St. Louis Blues
151. Boston Bruins
152. New York Islanders
153. Toronto Maple Leafs (from VGK)
154. Dallas Stars
155. Ottawa Senators (from TB)

Round 6
156. Detroit Red Wings
157. Tampa Bay Lightning (from OTT)
158. Ottawa Senators (from SJ)
159. Los Angeles Kings
160. Anaheim Ducks
161. New Jersey Devils
162. Dallas Stars (from BUF via CAR via FLA)
163. Minnesota Wild
164. Winnipeg Jets
165. New York Rangers
166. Nashville Predators
167. Colorado Avalanche (from FLA)
168. Toronto Maple Leafs
169. Edmonton Oilers
170. Pittsburgh Penguins
171. Montreal Canadiens
172. Chicago Blackhawks
173. Arizona Coyotes
174. Calgary Flames
175. Vancouver Canucks
176. Columbus Blue Jackets
177. Toronto Maple Leafs (from CAR)
178. Philadelphia Flyers
179. Washington Capitals
180. Toronto Maple Leafs (from COL)
181. Ottawa Senators (from STL via EDM)
182. Boston Bruins
183. New York Islanders
184. Vegas Golden Knights
185. Dallas Stars
186. Tampa Bay Lightning

Round 7
187. Detroit Red Wings
188. Montreal Canadiens (from OTT)
189. Toronto Maple Leafs (from SJ)
190. Los Angeles Kings
191. Vancouver Canucks (from ANA)
192. New Jersey Devils
193. Buffalo Sabres
194. Minnesota Wild
195. Toronto Maple Leafs (from WPG via MIN)
196. New York Rangers
197. New York Rangers (from NSH)
198. Florida Panthers
199. Carolina Hurricanes (from TOR)
200. Edmonton Oilers
201. San Jose Sharks (from PIT)
202. Philadelphia Flyers (from MTL)
203. St. Louis Blues (from CHI via MTL)
204. Arizona Coyotes
205. Calgary Flames
206. New York Rangers (from VAN)
207. Columbus Blue Jackets
208. Carolina Hurricanes
209. Philadelphia Flyers
210. San Jose Sharks (from WSH)
211. Colorado Avalanche
212. Toronto Maple Leafs (from STL)
213. Boston Bruins
214. New York Islanders
215. Vegas Golden Knights
216. Buffalo Sabres (from DAL)
217. Tampa Bay Lightning