Pat LaFontaine: Talk of raising draft age to 19 remains 'very preliminary'

As the NHL is set to celebrate its centennial season in 2016-17, there's an initiative to explore ways to improve the game, including the possibility of increasing the draft age to 19.

"We're exploring many ideas in improving conditions for player development, and raising the draft age is one of many things that we're looking at, and those discussions remain very preliminary," said former NHL player and Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine, who now works for the league in development.

The current draft age is 18. There has been an influx of talented players to make their NHL debuts at that age, and many of those players do not want to see it changed. Current Edmonton Oilers assistant captain Taylor Hall was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft and began his pro career at 18. Hall, 24, doesn't think the age requirement should be increased to 19.

"No. I think it's fine where it's at," he said. "You're seeing kids come in and do great things in this game. When you're 18 you should be able to work and seek employment however you want, so I think it's fair."