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."
Girgensons, No. 18 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2012 NHL Draft, said he was disappointed he couldn't showcase his physical side for the scouts.
"I'm a physical player and that's the biggest part of my game, the physical part," he said. "I wish I could have seen where I fit in with those guys."
Girgensons said he will be getting the metal braces and wires holding his jaw together removed this week, and it can't come soon enough.
"After this week I'm getting all the stuff out of my mouth," he said, "and that's when I'm going to start working out."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK