TORONTO -- More than a dozen prospects Tuesday will undergo the newest element added to the NHL Scouting Combine this year, the Functional Movement Screening (FMS).
The list of players includes all 14 of the top European skaters on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking and the top European goalie, Juuse Saros. The only North American player performing the test, which will be given beginning at 7 p.m. ET and in groups of four, will be defenseman Mirco Mueller of the Everett Silvertips. Mueller is No. 9 on Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters.
The FMS is a ranking and grading system in which players perform seven specific joint tests which document movement patterns. The test could help reveal imbalances and symmetry deficiencies in the various fundamental movement patterns of the body.
"If there's a range imbalance or if one side of the body is stronger or weaker than the other, this test will help determine that," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com. "A majority of NHL teams utilize FMS in some form and the NFL has been performing this screening as part of the medical process for their combine for a number of years.
"This is something you ideally want to do prior to the medical examinations so that the FMS results can be screened and provided to the doctors before the player is examined."
FMS scores are indicators that if an athlete continues on his current training path without correction then he's at higher risk of injury. Strength coaches are able to use the FMS scores to establish corrective exercises for the athlete to achieve mechanically sound movement patterns. It also creates a "functional baseline" to mark progress and can be used as part of a "return to play" protocol for injured players.