Nick Baptiste, No. 61 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible skaters in North America, concluded his second season with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League in 2012-13. The 6-foot, 189-pound right wing produced 21 goals and 48 points in 66 games for the Wolves. He also won a gold medal for Team Canada at the World Under-18 Championship in Sochi, Russia, in April, collecting three goals, eight points and a plus-6 rating in seven tourney games. Baptiste has agreed to take the time and maintain a blog for NHL.com during his stay at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto this week.
Hello hockey fans!
Waking up in the hotel room [Saturday] morning and looking back on the last three days, it struck me just how cool the experience of the NHL Scouting Combine was. It's one of the experiences you go into not really knowing what to expect.
The first two days of interviews were pretty exciting. Moving from room to room, from team to team and being face to face with some of hockey's most influential people was unbelievable.
On Friday, the physical testing brought the week to a whole new level. Being in a room with all of the same hockey people watching as you undergo some of the toughest physical tests was a little surreal. As others before me have said, the bike tests were quite tough. You feel like your legs are like rubber but you keep telling yourself to push through because you know it's important to show all that you have.
Another cool part of the week was being in situations outside of the ice with so many amazing players, both teammates and opponents. It was interesting to see how well we all interacted given the competitiveness of the situation.
At the end of the day, we all know that the combine is just a snapshot of who we are off the ice and what we have to offer. I think we all hope that we made a good enough impression and that teams were able to learn a little bit more about us.
Thanks so much for ready this week.
Follow Nick Baptiste on Twitter at: @NickBaptiste