Posted On Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 3:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Lewington stands out in Combine fitness results

TORONTO -- Medicine Hat Tigers defenseman Tyler Lewington measures in at 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds, but no player was bigger when it came to some of the upper-body tests during the two days of fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine.

Lewington, No. 66 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, performed a Combine-best 16 repetitions on the 150-pound bench press, one more than forward Kerby Rychel of the Windsor Spitfires and Shawinigan Cataractes defenseman Dylan Labbe.

Lewington also did the most pushups, 42, finishing ahead of Rimouski Oceanic defenseman Jan Kostalek, who had 37. United States National Team Development Program center John Hayden and Portland Winterhawks center Nicolas Petan were next with 36.

Posted On Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 3:07 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Ristolainen, Saros debate who was in charge of room

TORONTO -- There seemed to be a difference in opinion between Finnish countrymen Rasmus Ristolainen of TPS and Juuse Saros of HPK after their stay at the Westin Bristol Place during the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine this week.

Ristolainen, No. 4 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top draft-eligible European players, informed the media Saturday following Day 2 of fitness testing that his roommate for the week was Saros.

Ristolainen, who is regarded as one of the more physical defenders among all the European players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, seemed sure about one thing too.

"I think I'm the boss in our room," Ristolainen (6-foot-4, 207 pounds) said. "I'm bigger and older. He's just a junior."

Posted On Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 2:11 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Desrosiers shines at World U-18s

TORONTO -- Goaltender Philippe Desrosiers of the Rimouski Oceanic had a solid season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and earned the No. 7 spot in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goalies for the 2013 NHL Draft.

However, if those rankings had been re-done after the 2013 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, there's a chance Desrosiers might have been a bit higher.

The 6-foot-1.25, 182-pound goalie topped the tournament with a 0.80 goals-against average and .970 save percentage in five games to help Canada win the gold medal. He allowed three goals in his final three games, including a shutout against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.

"I think it was a good showcase for me to prove myself," Desrosiers told "I played great and coming to Canada with the gold medal was awesome. I'm very proud of myself. Maybe I proved something. Maybe a lot of scouts saw me. I'm very happy."

Posted On Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 1:00 PM - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Lehkonen admires Barkov's game

TORONTO -- Aleksander Barkov of Tappara and Artturi Lehkonen of KalPa are opponents on the ice in SM-liiga, the top Finnish professional league. They're also NHL Central Scouting's top two Finnish-born forwards in their final ranking of European skaters. Off the ice, however, the two are close friends from their time as teammates on various Finnish national teams and were roommates at the NHL Scouting Combine this week.

"We have been friends for four years," Lehkonen told "Since we started with the national team. We've been roommates, like, seven times. We're close to each other."

That relationship gives Lehkonen a unique viewpoint on Barkov's game, and what makes the 6-foot-3, 209-pound center Central Scouting's top-rated European skater.

"He's an amazing player," Lehkonen said. "I think he sees the game well. When I watch his game, it's like art. He does many things that he doesn't even have to think about. He doesn't have to hurry any situation. He always finds the space to pass and shoot."

Posted On Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 10:16 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Return to first round possible for Blues

TORONTO -- The St. Louis Blues won't make their first pick at the 2013 NHL Draft until the middle of the second round. At least, that's the plan right now.

"We don't have a first round pick yet," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told "But the draft's not tomorrow either."

The Blues traded this year's first-round pick to the Calgary Flames as part of the Jay Bouwmeester deal, but Armstrong said getting back into the top round this year remains a possibility.

"We know we're not going to get into that top five or six, but anything after that is always a potential on draft day," he said. "There's a lot of emphasis put on, don't worry about what we don't have, we could acquire something, and make sure we're prepared for it."

Posted On Friday, 05.31.2013 / 9:58 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Defensemen take lead in first day of Combine testing

TORONTO -- The first day of fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine saw 72 players get measured, poked, prodded and tested in front of scouts and managers from all 30 teams, as well as members of the media.

The two most infamous tests are the bike tests: the Wingate Cycle Ergometer and the VO2 Max. The Wingate measures a player's peak output in a 30-second sprint, and the VO2 tests a player's stamina and ability to recover between shifts.

Posted On Friday, 05.31.2013 / 7:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Quebec forward Duclair familiar with fitness test

TORONTO -- It was a long wait for Quebec Remparts forward Anthony Duclair, but he became the final draft hopeful to complete the fitness testing portion at the NHL Scouting Combine on Friday.

"The excitement builds up to it, but at the same time it's done and it was a pretty good experience," Duclair told

Though the tests can be challenging or unique to some prospects, Duclair had a bit of an advantage; he had gone through a mock test with the same York University professionals. That includes the bike tests, which feature players having their feet duct-taped to the pedals and trainers screaming motivation from their left, right and front.

"I did it with the same staff," Duclair said. "My trainer had contacts. We called them up and we had them scream in my face as well, so it was pretty fun."

Posted On Friday, 05.31.2013 / 4:22 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

MacKinnon 'would love to play for' Roy, Avalanche

TORONTO -- Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon finally can take a deep breath -- at least for 24 hours.

There's no telling what's next for the 17-year-old, who undoubtedly will be traveling to meet with several NHL teams for personal examinations and interviews now that his part in the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine is complete.

"I don't know if I'm living the dream yet because I'm not in the NHL, but [this week has] been fun," MacKinnon said. "It's been busy for sure. I've had a lot of requests and demands, but obviously I wouldn't trade it for anything. I had a lot of fun this year, and this was just another step toward the draft."

MacKinnon said he would be honored if the Colorado Avalanche selected him No. 1 at the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30. He said playing for new Colorado coach Patrick Roy, who was hired last week, would be a good experience.

Posted On Friday, 05.31.2013 / 4:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Barkov believes he can be top-seven pick

TORONTO -- The NHL Scouting Combine is an opportunity for teams to learn about the players they might take in the 2013 NHL Draft. But sometimes the players learn something about themselves. That was the case for Aleksander Barkov, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated European skater.

"I didn't know that my English is so good," he said. "I thought that I can't speak but then it was easy."

Barkov already was highly regarded because of his play. The 17-year-old center had 21 goals and 48 points in 53 games with Tappara in sm-Liiga, Finland's top professional league, and had three goals and four assists in seven games for Finland at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Posted On Friday, 05.31.2013 / 3:17 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Stars' Jackson looking forward to NHL Draft

TORONTO -- Les Jackson has been scouting prospects for the Dallas Stars organization for 25 years, so he knows there are no guarantees when it comes to the NHL Draft.

"Nothing's for sure," he told "We've picked high and never gotten anybody. You just hope that you draft the right guy if there's a player there and you take him. You work with him, develop him, be patient with him and see what you get."

Jackson, the Stars' assistant general manager, oversees the team's amateur scouting department. This year, the Stars have two first-round picks: their own at No. 10 and the Boston Bruins' pick they acquired in the Jaromir Jagr trade (number yet to be determined).

"Anytime you can get two picks it's a good deal," Jackson said. "It's a good draft this year. We're fortunate. We got one late. We wish our first pick was late, but unfortunately it's 10. It's a deep draft, so I think teams are going to do well in the first top of the draft."

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