Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Penalty Kill: NHL Draft Combine - Fitness Testing

Anaheim calling to the hockey world...

The NHL Combine. If you haven't checked out the new NHL Central Scouting website, please do. In addition to its Final Rankings, the site now hosts an entire section on the Combine. There, you'll find a list of the invitees and an explanation of the various physical fitness exams, as well as a list of Top Performers in each test. I have reproduced the Top Performers lists here, but check out Central Scouting when you have the time. It's sure to be a valuable resource for years to come.

This year's Combine seems to have lacked a clear standout, leaving the spotlight on the Hedman/Tavares drama, where Victor Hedman held an edge over John Tavares and Matt Duchene. The Combine's subplots are all confirmed by the testing stats: Jordan Schroeder and Kyle Palmieri proved that height and might aren't always proportional, the high school kids made a splash and the meteoric continued to rise, while the injured may have done enough to halt their fall.

So, did anyone jump into 15th and thus into the crosshairs of the Ducks? If they did, it happened in the interview room. The Fitness Stats tell the story of only a few consistently impressive invitees: alleged off-ice troublemaker, Kyle Palmieri (23rd ISS), and high schoolers Mac Bennett and Chris Kreider (24th ISS), who all needed strong interviews to back up their physical performances. If they managed to make an impression on both sides of the Combine, Kreider and Palmieri will probably push themselves up a few spots, though Bennett may remain the steal of the 2nd Round. I've highlighted those players below, along with Nick Leddy (21st ISS) and John Moore (T-15th on TSN's recent draft board and 15th on my insignificant draft board).

The information listed below was compiled from the Top Performers lists available at NHL Central Scouting.

The information listed above was compiled from the Top Performers lists available at NHL Central Scouting.

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