Hi all. Well, the NHL Scouting Combine is over for me.
I had a weird dream last night about NTDP defenseman Pat Sieloff hitting some guy in the head with a baseball bat. That's a true story, and I don't know how it happened, but I lost a little sleep over that. I woke up and ate a little breakfast before coming over [to the Toronto International Centre] and was a bit nervous. When you get here and can hear them yelling by the bike test, my blood pressure was probably a little higher than it should have been.
I think while I was in the early stages of the testing, I tried to focus on what I was doing and try to block everything else out. There are a lot of people watching you so I was just trying to do what I could. I thought doing the bench press right after push-ups was probably the toughest thing. I had to do push-ups, to vertical jump and right to bench, so I was a little fatigued.
I did some of these exercises at the NTDP, but I'm not smart to do all the conversions in my head. Some are easier than others, but they don't really give you answers while you're taking the test.
When it came to the Wingate test, I just got up on the bike and looked around and took everything in. It was cool with everything hanging up, and then I started pedaling and they're screaming at you and you just have to keep going. I think that was a pretty tough test coming in because you're just cold. Right after, I was dead. I wasn't really pedaling for the last five seconds. Personally, I didn't think having a guy screaming at me to motivate me to keep going didn't really help. I'm not really a guy who needs to get angry; I'm more of a guy who can focus and be calm. But it's something you're going to have to deal with playing in buildings with 20,000-plus people, so might as well get used to it.
After that test, I had a 20-minute break and sat in a room and was just dead tired. But it was tough because you knew you had to do another grueling thing and that was the toughest part of the whole day -- knowing I had to do another bike test [VO2 Max]. Once you're out of there, though, you just know you have to keep pedaling. That's all you're really doing. I thought the end of the VO2 was harder than the Wingate, but the beginning was easier because you got to build your way up, so I think it was easier on the legs and on the lungs. But in the end, you're totally empty.
Overall, it was a memory I'll take with me forever. In between bike tests, I was sitting in the room with Ryan Murray
and we were both tired and talking to each other saying, 'What are we doing?' That was pretty cool because that was the first time I ever met him and it's nice to get to know everybody you're going up against and going through this with. They're all nice guys and we're all going through the same thing.
But it's over now. I'll probably head home and work out and do the same stuff, but I'm through with the Combine so now I can kind of enjoy the Draft. I'll have a lot of people coming and it'll be nice to share the Draft experience with everyone that has supported me through all this. Thanks for reading everyone!
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