Capitals

No. 2 pick Byfield becomes NHL's highest-drafted Black player

Capitals

When the Los Angeles Kings selected Quinton Byfield with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, the pick wasn't just a step in the right direction for the franchise, but for the league as a whole

Byfield, an 18-year-old center out of Canada, becomes the highest-drafted Black player in league history, an important moment as the NHL looks to expand the sport and become more diverse.

Understanding the importance of the moment, San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane took to Twitter to congratulate one of the newest members of the league on his achievement.

Prior to Byfield's selection, Kane was the highest-selected Black player in league history when the Atlanta Thrashers drafted him No. 4 overall in 2009.  Seth Jones was also selected No. 4 overall in 2013. 

Kane is a co-head of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, which aims to "eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey." The veteran has been outspoken in the past about the NHL's need to become more inclusive and diverse.

With Byfield's history-making selection, the league is now working toward the goal Kane and others have set out to complete.

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