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Defensemen take lead after first day of Combine testing

by Adam Kimelman / Columbus Blue Jackets

TORONTO -- The first day of fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine saw 72 players get measured, poked, prodded and tested in front of scouts and managers from all 30 teams, as well as members of the media.

The two most infamous tests are the bike tests: the Wingate Cycle Ergometer and the VO2 Max. The Wingate measures a player's peak output in a 30-second sprint, and the VO2 tests a player's stamina and ability to recover between shifts.

Defenseman Samuel Morin of the Rimouski Oceanic had the highest peak power output in the Wingate test, measuring 15.8 watts per kilogram. Defenseman Shea Theodore of the Seattle Thunderbirds was second, also at 15.8.

Another defenseman, Mirco Mueller of the Everett Silvertips, lasted the longest on the VO2 test, clocking in at 14:39. Owen Sound Attack blueliner Chris Bigras was second at 14:30.

The two players with the longest wingspans also were defensemen: Jonathan-Ismael Diaby of the Victoriaville Tigres and Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American skater. Each measured in at 81.00 inches. London Knights defenseman Nikita Zadorov was next at 80.50 inches, along with Eamon McAdam, a goaltender with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League.

McAdam tied with London Knights forward Remi Elie and Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ryan Pulock for the best vertical jump at 28.5 inches.

Zach Nastasiuk, a forward with Owen Sound, had the longest standing long jump at 117.0 inches, ahead of Kitchener Rangers forward Justin Bailey, who reached 114.0 inches.

John Hayden of the United States National Team Development Program, and Nicolas Petan of the Winterhawks clocked the most push-ups with 36, finishing ahead of Edina (Minn.) High School center Connor Hurley, who did 34.

Hayden finished third on the bench press, doing 14 reps at 150 pounds. Windsor Spitfires forward Kerby Rychel and Shawinigan Cataractes defenseman Dylan Labbe led the way with 15.

The remaining 29 players will be tested Saturday, and will have the final results after the last player finishes.

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