|NHL hokcey draft prospect Ryan Nugent-Hopkins undergoes a physical test on a stationary bike at the NHL Scouting combine in Toronto on Friday, June 3 , 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Chris Young)|
Four members of the Portland Winterhawks were invited to the Combine, but only three -- Joe Morrow, Sven Baertschi and Ty Rattie -- took part in the fitness testing today. Tyler Wotherspoon passed due to injuries suffered during the WHL playoffs.
Among the three Winterhawks going through the fitness circuit, no wagers were put down on who would perform best on any event, or who could keep their breakfast down after bike tests.
"We support each other," Morrow told NHL.com. "It's more a friendly competition than anything more than that."
Morrow and Baertschi were in the same group, with Rattie about two hours behind them. Morrow said he would give Rattie a few details about the testing -- some real, some a bit of an exaggeration.
"I might tell him it's a little worse than it is just to scare him a little bit," Morrow said with a laugh.
The bike tests at the Scouting Combine are a nice opportunity to test skaters' endurance and recovery time between shifts. But how does it work for goaltenders?
"It was pretty rough," said John Gibson, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American goaltender. "Bikes are tough."
For a player who won't skate much more than a few feet most of the game, testing for speed bursts isn't something he'll have to worry about.
"Doesn't really go through your head in the moment, you just want to do the best you can," he said. "But now that I look back on it, it comes in your head, 'What did I do that for?' It gets you in shape, that's all that matters."
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.