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Dubois impresses in Combine fitness tests

by Adam Kimelman / Columbus Blue Jackets
BUFFALO -- Pierre-Luc Dubois impressed scouts on the ice this past season with Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Saturday he put on a good show during fitness testing at the 2016 NHL Scouting Combine.

Dubois, NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, finished in the top 12 in six of the testing categories.

He was fourth in the peak power output on the Wingate Cycle Ergometer at 18.6 watts per kilogram. The test measures a player's explosiveness and leg drive in a 30-second sprint.

Dubois had the fourth-best standing long jump at 114.3 inches, tied for fifth with 11 pull-ups and was 12th in the vertical jump at 23.58 inches. In the pro agility test, a 20-yard shuttle run, he had the second-fastest time starting to his right at 4.33 seconds and the 10th-fastest time starting to his left at 4.5 seconds.

The 6-foot-2, 201-pound left wing also had a 77-inch wingspan. That mix of size, strength and athleticism helped him finish with 42 goals and 99 points in 65 QMJHL games this season while playing center and wing.

"He has the size and strength to be really tough to control and defend but he can use that to defend as well," Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "And you put that with the elite skater he is and the puck skills and the hockey sense, he's just a complete package to me."

Zurich center Auston Matthews, expected to be the first pick in the draft, was ninth in peak power output on the Wingate at 18.1 watts per kilogram. He also tied for seventh in pro agility-left at 4.48 seconds and tied for 13th in pro agility-right at 4.52 seconds. He lasted 11:00 on the VO2 max bike test, which measures a player's endurance. That test was performed Friday.

Tappara right wing Patrik Laine, expected to be the second pick, tied for 16th on the bench press with 12 repetitions of 160 pounds. He did not take part in any of the lower-body tests because of a left knee injury sustained Friday during the VO2 max test.

A number of other top prospects also excelled during their combine tests.

University of Wisconsin center Luke Kunin, No. 11 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, had the best vertical jump at 28.98 inches and was seventh in the long jump at 113.5 inches. He had the fifth-fastest time in the pro agility-right at 4.37 seconds and tied for 13th in peak power output on the Wingate at 17.4 watts/kilogram.

Left wing Alexander Nylander of Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League, No. 3 on Central Scouting's ranking of North American forwards, had the highest peak power output on the Wingate at 21.1 watts per kilogram. He also tied for sixth on the bench press with 13 repetitions at 135 pounds. Players lifted a weight between 75 and 80 percent of their body weight; Nylander weighed in at 178 pounds.

He also was tied for 13th with 10 pull-ups and was 16th in the vertical jump at 22.84 inches.

Defenseman Jakob Chychrun of Sarnia of the OHL, the highest-rated defenseman and No. 4 skater on Central Scouting's North American rankings, was second in the long jump at 118.5 inches; was sixth in the vertical jump at 25.24 inches; and had the eighth-best peak power output on the Wingate at 18.0 watts/kilogram.

Among the biggest surprises at the testing was center Jonathan Ang of Peterborough of the OHL, No. 95 on Central Scouting's ranking of North American skaters. The 5-foot-11, 162-pound forward did the most pull-ups of any player with 15. He also was third in peak power output on the Wingate at 18.7 watts per kilogram; was fifth in the long jump at 114.0 inches; and tied for sixth on the bench press with 13 repetitions of 130 pounds. He had the sixth-fastest time in the pro agility-left at 4.47 seconds and was 23rd in the pro agility-right at 4.6 seconds.

The top performers in the pro agility test were defensemen Matthew Cairns of Georgetown of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and Luke Green of Saint John of the QMJHL. Cairns was the fastest in pro agility-left at 4.3 seconds, followed by Green at 4.31. Green was the fastest in pro agility-right at 4.19 seconds, with Cairns tied for second at 4.33 seconds.

Samuel Girard, a defenseman with Shawinigan of the QMJHL, did the most repetitions on the bench press, lifting 130 pounds 15 times.

Defenseman James Greenway of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program had the most impressive grip strength. He topped all players with 187 pounds with his right hand and was tied for third with his left hand at 164 pounds.

Logan Stanley, a defenseman with Windsor of the OHL, led all players by lasting 12:30 on the VO2 max test.

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