105 of the top prospects of the 2012 NHL Draft class were invited to the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto to put their bodies and minds to the tests. In three short days, each athlete will interview with as many as 30 NHL teams as well as take part in a number of vigorous fitness tests.
Winnipegjets.com is on location in Toronto at the International Centre to provide coverage of the physical testing on Friday June 1st, and Saturday June 2nd and talk to some of the top prospects before the NHL Draft on June 23-24th in Pittsburgh.
The first thing on the schedule for the athletes when they arrive in Toronto are the interviews. All 30 NHL teams are allowed to interview as many of the prospects as they'd like for up to 20 minutes. These interviews take place over two days.
After the prospects have completed all of the interviews that they were requested for, they move onto the fitness testing portion of the combine.
66 prospects are divided up into eight groups of eight or nine athletes on the first day. The second day the final group of 38 are divided into five groups. Each group begins the process with weighing in and having their exact height measured. They then make their way through the individual physical tests that include the following:
• Body Fat (Skinfold Measurement)
• Grip Strength
• Push/Pull Strength
• Vertical Jump
• Standing Long Jump
• Bench Press
• Trunk Flexion
• Equilibrium Test
• Jump Training Mat
After the strength testing concludes, the prospects move onto the very challenging and dreadful bike testing. There are two vigorous bike tests to complete: the Wingate Ergometer Test, which is geared to see how much energy a player uses during a 30-second shift, and the VO2 Max Test, which measures a player’s endurance. Think of the anaerobic (Wingate) as a regular shift in a game but the VO2 Max is the entire game as a whole.
LET THE TESTING BEGIN
The fitness testing got underway at 7:30am Central time on Friday morning. Prospects among the first couple of groups included Morgan Rielly, who is projected as the fifth-overall pick by Central Scouting Service, Colton Sissons (14th), Cody Ceci (6th), and Alex Galchenenyuk (4th).
The initial response from all of the prospects was relief that the fitness tests were finally over. The hard work was done and the fun will soon begin as the draft is just around the corner.
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