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Posted On Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 3:27 PM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Baptiste grateful for Combine experience

Nick Baptiste, No. 61 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible skaters in North America, concluded his second season with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League in 2012-13. The 6-foot, 189-pound right wing produced 21 goals and 48 points in 66 games for the Wolves. He also won a gold medal for Team Canada at the World Under-18 Championship in Sochi, Russia, in April, collecting three goals, eight points and a plus-6 rating in seven tourney games. Baptiste has agreed to take the time and maintain a blog for NHL.com during his stay at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto this week.

Hello hockey fans!

Waking up in the hotel room [Saturday] morning and looking back on the last three days, it struck me just how cool the experience of the NHL Scouting Combine was. It's one of the experiences you go into not really knowing what to expect.

The first two days of interviews were pretty exciting. Moving from room to room, from team to team and being face to face with some of hockey's most influential people was unbelievable.

On Friday, the physical testing brought the week to a whole new level. Being in a room with all of the same hockey people watching as you undergo some of the toughest physical tests was a little surreal. As others before me have said, the bike tests were quite tough. You feel like your legs are like rubber but you keep telling yourself to push through because you know it's important to show all that you have.

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Posted On Friday, 05.31.2013 / 12:08 PM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Baptiste gearing up for bike tests

Nick Baptiste, No. 61 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible skaters in North America, concluded his second season with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League in 2012-13. The 6-foot, 189-pound right wing produced 21 goals and 48 points in 66 games for the Wolves. He also won a gold medal for Team Canada at the World Under-18 Championship in Sochi, Russia, in April, collecting three goals, eight points and a plus-6 rating in seven tourney games. Baptiste has agreed to take the time and maintain a blog for NHL.com during his stay at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto this week.

Hi everyone. On Tuesday, I arrived in Toronto and made my way to the hotel. I registered and met up with my roommate Phil Desrosiers and some of the other players. I had a bit of time to catch up with some guys before my first dinner meeting with a team.

On Wednesday morning, my meetings started at 8:45 a.m. I was scheduled to meet 19 teams over the course of the two days and the meetings went well. Each meeting was pretty relaxed. There were a few difficult questions but most teams asked about my season, my strengths and my game.


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Posted On Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 9:43 PM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Baptiste set for NHL Combine experience

Nick Baptiste, No. 61 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible skaters in North America, concluded his second season with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League in 2012-13. The 6-foot, 189-pound right wing produced 21 goals and 48 points in 66 games for the Wolves. He also won a gold medal for Team Canada at the World Under-18 Championship in Sochi, Russia, in April, collecting three goals, eight points and a plus-6 rating in seven tourney games. Baptiste has agreed to take the time and maintain a blog for NHL.com during his stay at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto this week.

Hi everyone!

So after a month of preparation and many hours in the gym, it's hard to believe the Combine is just a day away [for me]. I've only watched the Combine on television, so I'm not completely sure what to expect. My trainer, Scott Heffernan, has prepared me well for the many skill tests, including the VO2 bike test that I will be required to complete at the Combine.

After much training and many massage sessions, I feel confident that I'll be able to perform well. I'm pretty excited to get started.

Coming off of a strong second half in Sudbury and a gold medal victory in Sochi, Russia with Team Canada, I'm looking forward to meeting with NHL teams and running through the various tests. I'm also looking forward to catching up with buddies, teammates and other players that I've met over the years.

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Posted On Monday, 08.27.2012 / 8:47 AM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Baptiste earns gold medal at Jr. Club World Cup

Hi everyone!

On Saturday night, we had a great team meal in Omsk. The team went to a restaurant close to the hotel for dinner. It was a traditional Russian restaurant with singing and some people dancing. I even got on the dance floor and showed everyone my moves -- the boys on the team and everyone in the restaurant loved it.

We walked back to the hotel and went to a bed we need our rest for [Sunday].

It is Gold Medal Game Day [Sunday] in Omsk!

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Posted On Saturday, 08.25.2012 / 8:53 PM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Sudbury defeats Belarus; prepares for Waterloo

Hi everyone.

[Friday] was an off day for the team. We went to the rink to start packing up as we are leaving the Blinov Arena now for the Semifinal at the Omsk Arena. We went to a mall for an hour. It was a lot like home with North American stores. We didn’t really buy much, but it was nice just to walk around.

After the meal we had a trip to a Russian Army Tank College. It is where soldiers from all over Russia come to learn how to operate tanks. It was pretty cool. We got to see them drive around their training range and then did a tour of their tank museum.

After the Tank College we went back to the hotel and then the team went to a local arcade for a couple of hours. It was a close contest but I beat Derek Schoenmakers [@dschoe8] in arcade basketball, 380-365.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.23.2012 / 10:41 AM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Sudbury suffers loss to Sweden; ready for semifinals

Hi all.

[On Thursday] in Omsk we woke up early and came to the rink for a morning skate before our game against Sweden’s Linkopings. Both teams have clinched a berth in the Semifinals at the Junior Club World Cup but the winner will win Pool B.

After practice we bussed back to the hotel and had our pre-game meal before having a nap this afternoon.

At 4:45 p.m. we got back on the bus and came to the Blinov Arena for our game. This will be our last game at this rink as we will be moving to the Omsk Arena for the playoff round of the tournament.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.23.2012 / 9:58 AM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Baptiste recaps Sudbury victory over Denmark

Hi everyone!

We had our pre-game meal at 10:30 a.m. before the Norway game, which is a little weird for eating chicken and rice! I had a long nap after the meal and woke up ready to go to the game at 12:45.

We got to the rink and warmed up by playing sewer ball. I got hit in the face by Jeff Corbett [@corbs46] . For those of you that have never played sewer ball, it is just standing in a circle trying to keep a soccer ball up in the air but your opponents [actually my teammates] try to knock you out of the game with bad passes.

The game was outstanding. Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, Josh Levio [@jleivo17] scored a third period hat trick to push us to a 7-2 victory over the Denmark Under-20 Team.

After the game we took the bus to TGI Friday's for another North American style meal, and then were back to the hotel for 9:30 p.m.

We will be back at the rink [Thursday] morning for practice before our game against Sweden [Thursday night]. We have clinched a spot in the semifinals and a win over Sweden would clinch first place in our pool.

Follow Nick Baptiste on Twitter at: @NickBaptiste

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.22.2012 / 8:35 AM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Baptiste and his team prepare for Denmark

Nick Baptiste will be entering his second season with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League in 2012-13. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound right wing, regarded as a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft, produced eight goals and 27 points in 64 games last season. This week, Sudbury is representing the OHL in the 2012 Junior Club World Cup tournament in Omsk, Russia. Baptiste has agreed to take the time and maintain a blog for NHL.com that will document his stay in Russia.

Hi all!

[Tuesday] was an off day for the team, so we came to the rink and practiced in the morning. After practice, we went back to the hotel and had a quick snack. We found out that there is a TGI Friday's restaurant in Omsk! We went over there and had some lunch and it was great to have some North American food!

After the restaurant, we walked over to a local mall and checked it out for an hour before we got back on the bus to come back to the hotel.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.21.2012 / 8:42 AM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Baptiste recaps Sudbury shootout loss to Latvia

After a late night last night, we were able to sleep in a bit this morning and go down to the restaurant for breakfast which was our pre-game meal at 10:30 a.m. I found out at breakfast that I wasn't playing against Latvia [a 2-1 loss on Monday]. We brought additional players for this trip, so we are all taking a turn sitting out and it is my game to sit.

We took the team bus over to the arena at 12:45 p.m. Even though I wasn't playing, there is still work to be done at the rink so I worked out with the other guys who were not in the lineup. Our game against Latvia was a really close one. Latvia took a 1-0 lead in the first period and then we tied it in the second period. The third didn't solve anything even though both teams had good chances to score.

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Posted On Sunday, 08.19.2012 / 11:50 AM

By Nick Baptiste -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Nick Baptiste Draft blog

Sudbury defeats Finnish team in Junior Cup opener

Its Game Day in Omsk!

All of the guys were really excited to get things going at the Junior Club World Cup with our first game against HIFK of Finland. We woke up early for an 8 a.m. breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards, we left for the rink and our morning skate.

All of the Wolves went on the ice for 40 minutes. After leaving the rink we went to a large grocery store that had lots of North American food, it reminds us of home!

We got back to the hotel for our pre-game meal and then had a nap for a couple of hours. Some of the guys are having a tough time sleeping with the 11 hour time difference.

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Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday