NHL.com videographer Steven Hoffner came up with a great idea -- take two of the top prospects here at the NHL Scouting Combine to the Eaton Centre, one of the the biggest malls in Canada, conveniently located in downtown Toronto.
We piled into a rented Buick with Gabriel Landeskog and Mika Zibanejad, who have known each other since they were 8-year-olds growing up and playing hockey together in Stockholm. Landeskog, who plays for the OHL's Kitchener Rangers, is NHL Central Scouting's No.2-ranked North American skater in its final rankings for the 2011 Entry Draft, while Zibanejad is the No. 2-ranked European skater.
How did it go? Well the video here tells the story better than I can, but I'll try filling in a few blanks on a video shoot that had a little bit of everything.
Our first stop was H&M, a Swedish clothing store. We got the guys looking at jeans and ties and trying on a few hats and glasses. Landeskog, who you would think would be a familiar face in Toronto due to his success in the OHL, was recognized, but not for his hockey skills. A gentlemen saying he was representative of a modeling agency approached Landeskog and asked him if he would be interested in being a model. Landeskog politely declined, but I guess if the hockey thing doesn't work out, he's got a second career lined up.
Our next stop was music store HVM. Zibanejad eyed an Adam Lambert CD, while Landeskog found a Queen CD, and made sure to note that former teammate Jeff Skinner was a fan. And as a fitting cliché, the two young Swedes spent the most time with an ABBA CD.
Our final stop was the SportChek sporting goods store. We checked out the hockey jerseys, and while neither was interested in trying on any NHL jerseys -- they'll save that for next month in Minnesota -- they were a bit disappointed to not see any Team Sweden jerseys.
After playing with some hockey equipment, the players jumped on some mountain bikes and went wheeling around the store.
That was our final stop, and then it was back to the hotel for dinner and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
It was a fun trip, a neat experience and, if nothing else, Landeskog found out he might have a future career outside of hockey.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.
— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens