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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 4:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Top marks for goalies during Combine fitness test

TORONTO -- With the fitness testing portion of the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine over, one of the things the results show is the next wave of goaltenders that come into the NHL will be big and very well-conditioned.

Goalies took the top six spots in the wing-span measurement, topped by 6-foot-5 Anthony Stolarz of Corpus Christi in the NAHL. His 81-inch wing span was three-quarters of an inch longer than Jon Gillies of Indiana (USHL), who measured 80.25 inches. Malcolm Subban of Belleville, NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked North American goalie, was third at 79.5 inches. Andrey Vasilevskiy of Ufa in Russia, Central Scouting's top-ranked European goalie, was sixth at 78 inches.

Matt Tomkins of Sherwood Park (AJHL) tied Calgary Hitmen defenseman Kenton Helgesen for the lowest percentage of body fat at 7.0. Kitchener goalie Frank Palazzese was third at 7.3 percent.

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, and London's Andreas Athanasiou (32.0). Tomkins was sixth at 29.8 inches.

Here is how the prospects fared in some of the other tests held Friday and Saturday at the Toronto International Centre:

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. Kitchener forward Matia Marcantuoni and Muskegon center Matthew DeBlouw finished second, with Plymouth forward Thomas Wilson and Calnan rounding out the top five.

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. Edmonton forward Henrik Samuelsson (13:25), Wilson (13:11) and Exeter School right wing Brian Hart (13:11).
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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 3:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Lukas Sutter learned from watching Brayden Schenn

Saskatoon Blades center Lukas Sutter certainly picked a good time to have a career-season with so much attention on him during his draft year.

In addition to being a feisty and agitating player to go up against, Sutter, the son of former Philadelphia Flyers forward Rich Sutter, also proved to be an extremely valuable asset on the score sheet. He connected for career highs in goals (28), assists (31) and points (59). He also tied for second on the team with nine power-play goals and sported an impressive plus-15 rating.

Why all the success in his sophomore campaign with the Blades?

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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 9:31 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Combine just part of the Draft Soup

TORONTO -- To Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney, the decision on what to do at the draft is like cooking a meal. You need all the ingredients, but too much of one thing can spoil the meal. That's why he enjoys the annual NHL Scouting Combine, but he told NHL.com it's important not to put too much emphasis on the event.

"It's like a soup," he said. "There's 20 ingredients and you have to make sure how much emphasis you put in certain areas."

Maloney, who said he didn't do a lot of amateur scouting this season, said he allows his scouts to run things in the interview room. He said the Coyotes talked to about 75 prospects during the four days of interviews, and for most of them he was a spectator.
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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 6:49 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Young Russian goalie Vasilevski is the great unknown

It's amazing to think how much differently Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski might have been viewed had he not pulled himself from the semifinal round game of the 2012 World Junior Championship in Calgary with just six minutes remaining in the third period.

Some may look at Vasilevski's decision to take himself out of the game at the 14:17 mark, and his country clinging to a 6-5 lead over Canada, as a move to help a seemingly winded Russian squad.

Others may view it as a sign of giving up or quitting. Either way, Vasilevski, who made 44 saves in the game, was replaced by Andrei Makarov, who closed out the victory in splendid fashion with seven saves.

Both Vasilevski and Makarov are eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft in June. But Vasilevski is the one viewed by many as a potential first-round selection.
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 10:07 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Red Wings prepared to find that diamond in the rough

Just because the Detroit Red Wings aren't making a pick in the first round of the NHL Draft for the second straight season, doesn't mean Director of Amateur Scouting Joe McDonnell can take the weekend off.

McDonnell and part of his scouting staff were front and center at the fitness-testing portion of the NHL Scouting Combine this weekend at the Toronto International Centre. The objective is simple -- find a diamond in the rough in the later rounds.

"We don't have a first round pick this year, so we're picking No. 49 [overall]," McDonnell told NHL.com. "You still want to check the kids out but for us, most of the kids that are here and are high-end guys that had injuries, we're never going to get a shot at anyway. So there's no one particular guy we're looking at."
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 6:31 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Tampa Bay will be very busy at NHL Draft

The Tampa Bay Lightning might just be the busiest team at the 2012 NHL Draft.

It's easy to see why with possibly six picks over the opening two rounds. Entering this year's Draft, slated June 22-23 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman will have two first-round picks and three, possibly four, in the second.

With this many picks at his disposal, Tampa Bay Director of Amateur Scouting, Al Murray, certainly has his work cut out.

"Steve has put us in a position with two first-round picks and three seconds, maybe a fourth, so we're going to be able to get a little bit of everything if we want," Murray told NHL.com. "We can go for a defenseman, a goalie, a center or wing or just load up at a certain position. We're entering the Draft pretty open-minded and trying to rank the best 40 players of the group."
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 5:12 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Physical testing can reveal strength of character

TORONTO -- While NHL scouts, general managers and strength coaches are focused on the physical attributes of the prospects taking part in the fitness testing portion of the NHL Scouting Combine, at times there are other traits that come shining through during the exercise.

Ottawa Senators director of player personnel Pierre Dorion shared one such instance of that occurring, and it involves a player that now has become part of the NHL's elite.

In 2006, Dorion and current Senators assistant GM Tim Murray were working for the New York Rangers when they were eyeing a slender forward prospect preparing for the bench press test.
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 4:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Grigorenko almost healed from mono

TORONTO -- Mikhail Grigorenko sat out the fitness testing of the Scouting Combine while he continues to recover from a bout of mononucleosis. However, he assured NHL decision-makers he would be 100 percent before teams are scheduled to report to training camps in September. In fact, the Quebec Remparts center said he'd be ready to go by the time teams hold summer rookie camps.

"Mini-camp will be in two months or something, so I'll be ready," he said. "In a few days I will start to train, so I have all summer to train."

Grigorenko said he didn't even know he was sick until after the Remparts lost to the Halifax Mooseheads in the quarterfinals of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. He had 10 points in 11 games, but just three goals, leading some to question his work ethic.
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 3:58 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Girgensons ready to eat

TORONTO -- As exciting as the Scouting Combine experience has been for Dubuque center  Zemgus Girgensons, he's looking forward to next week when he can do something really special -- chew his food.

Girgensons broke his jaw more than a month ago in a USHL playoff game, and said he hasn't been able to chew his food since then.

"I just started eating this week," he said. "I wasn't able to chew for five weeks."

Girgensons said he lost 10-15 pounds on his liquid diet, and because of that he skipped the fitness testing portion of the Scouting Combine.

"I'm not 100-percent ready," he said. "I'm not doing anything if I can't show my best."
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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 3:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Beauvillier was first man in

TORONTO -- Rimouski Oceanic forward Francis Beauvillier had the honor of being the first player to enter the fitness testing room.

He came through unscathed, and said it wasn't really as bad as he thought it would be.

"The VO2 Max I thought would be harder than that, you had to keep breathing with the thing in your mouth," he said. "But I thought it went pretty well."

Beauvillier, No. 56 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2012 NHL Draft, also told NHL.com he didn't mind going first.
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2012 NHL Draft