This past Monday, the NHL held their annual Prospect Scouting Combine in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. During the Combine: fitness, medical and hand-eye co-ordination assessments are conducted on NHL Entry Draft players by a nationally accredited high performance athlete testing laboratory. The fitness assessment protocols are a compilation of the core fitness tests currently employed by a number of NHL teams. Tests include: body composition, muscular strength, anaerobic and aerobic fitness, a medical exam, and hand-eye coordination. The top 105 draft eligible prospects, both International and North American, were invited to Toronto to show the NHL scouts their abilities. Here is the complete list of invitees.
Here is how some of the prospects fared at the combine:
Anaerobic fitness, peak power output: Sarnia forward Alex Galchenyuk – who missed all but one regular-season game after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in October — showcased how well he was healed by leading this category, which measures how explosive a skater he is. His high peak output could be the difference in gaining 2-3 strides on a defenseman on a breakaway. Other top five finishers in this category are: Center Marcantuoni from Kitchner, Center DeBlouw from Muskegon, winger Wilson from Plymouth, and rounding it out is high school winger Calnan.
VO2 Max test duration: Rogle defenseman Hampus Lindholm lasted longest in the toughest endurance test at the Combine, staying on the bike for 14:40. The Swedish blueliner is No. 4 on Central Scouting’s final ranking of European skaters. That time was more than a minute longer than Everett defenseman Ryan Murray (13:32), Central Scouting’s No. 2-ranked North American skater. Other notable performances were by Mark Pysyk’s teammate on the Oil Kings, Samuelsson(13:25), Thomas Wilson again(13:11), and Exeter School winger Brian Hart(13:11).
Wing span: In the non-goalie category, the players that measured the longest wing spans were USNTDP centerStefan Matteau, Kitchener center Radek Faksa, Prince George (BCHL) left wing Jujhar Khaira, Ottawa defensemanCody Ceci and Quebec center Mikhail Grigorenko, who tied for seventh at 77.75 inches.
Standing long jump: Defensemen Michael Matheson of Dubuque and Jake McCabe of the University of Wisconsin leapt the farthest at 119 inches. USNTDP defenseman Patrick Sieloff (115) was third, followed by Athanasiou (114.5). Rimouski forward Francis Beauvillier and Red Deer defenseman Mathew Dumba were fifth at 114 inches, followed by Ceci at 113 inches.
Vertical jump: Among the more impressive performers were USNTDP defenseman Brady Skjei, who was seventh at 29.5 inches.
Bench press: Prince Albert center Mike Winther did the most repetitions with the 150-pound weight at 17. Kent School (Conn.) center Cristoval Nieves was next with 15, followed by Regina forward Chandler Stevenson (14) and Moose Jaw defenseman Morgan Rielly (13).
Grip strength: Rielly had the strongest right-hand grip at 167 pounds. Beauvillier (161), Edmonton left wing Mitchell Moroz (160), Gaunce (159), and St. John’s Prep (Mass.) right wing Samuel Kurker (155) make up the rest of the top five.
Forwards weren’t the only standouts at the Combine. Goalies took the top six spots in the wing-span measurement, topped by 6-foot-5 Anthony Stolarz of Corpus Christi in the NAHL.Matt Tomkins of Sherwood Park (AJHL) tied Calgary Hitmen defenseman Kenton Helgesen for the lowest percentage of body fat at 7.0. Malcolm Subban and Jake Paterson of Saginaw (OHL) tied for third in the vertical jump at 30.5 inches, just behind leader Chris Calnan of the Nobles School (Mass.) at 32.5 inches