The two teams with the highest waiver priority will each get to make one Territorial Draft Pick – to be used to select a player born within their territorial limits at the end of the second round.
That means the Toronto Argonauts will now receive the second round’s 10th pick and the Montreal Alouettes will receive the second round’s 11th pick in the May 2nd draft.
The change is being made after discussions led by a committee that included some team presidents and general managers. But CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said it was driven by the league’s fans.
“CFL fans expressed a lot of support for CFL 2.0 and our international strategy when I hosted town halls across the country this past Winter,” Ambrosie said.
“At the same time, they told us they deeply value our Canadian players and they especially love seeing local kids become ‘hometown football heroes.’ We’re listening to those fans with this change.”
Fans also said they usually prefer to see players stay with their favourite team once they become free agents, Ambrosie said.
The introduction of territorial draft picks helps to address that issue as Canadian players have often cited a desire to be closer to home when changing teams in free agency.
The CFL Constitution defines a territory for each of the league’s nine clubs. Montreal’s territory, for example, includes all of Quebec except for an area near Ottawa.
If a club with a territorial pick chooses, it may defer claiming any territorial players until the start of any other round after the third round.
The CFL office is providing all clubs with a list of players who are eligible for selection with a territorial pick by Montreal and Toronto prior to the draft. These players will be from the existing list of 2019 Draft eligible Canadians
This will be the first time since 1984 that the league’s draft will feature territorial selections. From 1972 to 1982, each club had the right to pre-select two players from its region who would be exempted from the draft. That limit was reduced to one Draft exemption selection in 1983 and 1984, and then the practice was terminated altogether prior to the 1985 Canadian Draft.
The CFL Draft will take place May 2nd at 8 pm. The first two rounds will be broadcast on TSN and RDS with subsequent rounds covered on TSN Direct.
Training camps are set to open on May 19. The 2019 season begins on June 13 when the Saskatchewan Roughriders face off against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Fans can stay up to date on all the non-stop action at CFL.ca, follow the 2019 season from around the world, and join us at a game. The 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw will be played at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Sunday, November 24.