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Draft season kicks off as NHL Combine begins in Buffalo

by Mike G. Morreale / Philadelphia Flyers

NOTE: The Flyers hold the No. 18th overall pick in the first round. In total, they own 10 picks at this year’s Draft, held on June 23-24, including two second round and two third round picks.


The 2016 NHL Scouting Combine will give 114 players eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft an opportunity to showcase themselves for all 30 NHL teams which began Monday in Buffalo.

The combine will be held May 30-June 4 at First Niagara Center and HarborCenter.

The 2016 draft will be held at First Niagara Center on June 24 and 25.

Among the top prospects that will be at the combine are Zurich center Auston Matthews and Tappara right wing Patrik Laine, the top two skaters on NHL Central Scouting's ranking of international skaters eligible for the draft.

Matthews, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound native of Scottsdale, Ariz., had 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league. He was second in voting for league MVP and won the league's Rising Star award. He also will play for Team North America in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in September.

Flyers' Seventh Overall pick, Ivan Provorov, has his wingspan measured during the NHL Combine last year at HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York.
    

Laine (6-4, 206) helped Finland win the silver medal at the 2016 IIHF World Championship. He had team-highs of seven goals and 12 points and was named the tournament's most valuable player. He also helped Tappara win the championship in Liiga, Finland's top professional league, and won the Jari Kurri Trophy as playoff MVP. He will play for Team Finland at the World Cup.

Also attending the combine are the top three on Central Scouting's ranking of the top North American skaters: left wing Pierre-Luc Dubois of Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, left wing Matthew Tkachuk of London of the Ontario Hockey League and left wing Alexander Nylander of Mississauga (OHL).

Nine goalies were invited to the combine, including Central Scouting's No. 1-rated North American goalie, Evan Fitzpatrick (6-3, 206) of Sherbrooke (QMJHL), and the No. 1 goaltender on Central Scouting's international ranking, Filip Gustavsson (6-1, 184) of Lulea in Sweden's junior league.

The combine will feature 12 fitness tests. Among them are grip strength, standing long jump, bench press and pull-ups. There's also a Functional Movement Screen, which requires players to perform seven specific joint tests that could reveal imbalances and symmetry deficiencies in movements of the body. And there are bike tests, the VO2 max test to measure a player's endurance and the Wingate Cycle Ergometer that measures a player's explosiveness.

Flyers' fifth round pick, David Kase, goes through the pull-up test at last year's Combine.
    

"I'm looking forward to the NHL Scouting Combine," defenseman Jakob Chychrun of Sarnia of the OHL said. "You always want to perform well at the combine because it's a big step in the whole process. I'll talk to my agent try and be as prepared as possible for everything that's going to hit me."

Chychrun, the son of former NHL player Jeff Chychrun, is No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters.

Teams will have the opportunity for 20-minute, 1-on-1 interviews with the prospects May 30-June 3. The medical examinations will be held June 1.

"What the players have to keep in mind is that this will be their initial contact with many NHL teams so they have the chance to make that good initial impression," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "Some kids aren't that comfortable when they're in an interview environment, so it's important they be prepared to talk about themselves, which is something they might not be used to doing. The combine gives the NHL teams a chance to get to know the player away from the rink."

The bike tests will be held on separate days. Prior to the 2015 combine, they had been done the same day.

"The strength coaches said both of those tests required the players to fatigue, to go until they can no longer go," Marr said. "To have them do those tests almost back-to-back [on the same day] really wasn't a valid indicator to where a player was at."

The fitness test results provide information on current capacities but also insight into potential future improvement in specific fitness components.

"All players must be medically cleared by the NHL Scouting Combine medical staff in order to participate in the physical testing," Marr said. "Any player that is not 100 percent able to perform an upper- or lower-body test [due to injury or medical condition] will be classed as injury or medically exempt depending on the circumstances.

"Every year there are instances where players have declined the combine invitation, been medically ruled unable to test or have declined to test. But those instances vary and are rare."

Below is a list of player invitees to the NHL Combine:

Click Here for NHL's Central Scouting's Final Prospect Rankings

PLAYER  |  TEAM  |  LEAGUE  |   POSITION

VITALY ABRAMOV  |  GATINEAU  |  QMJHL  |  RW

FREDERIC ALLARD  |  CHICOUTIMI  |  QMJHL  |  D

WADE ALLISON  |  TRI-CITY  |  USHL  |  RW

JOSEPH ANDERSON  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  RW

JOSH ANDERSON  |  PRINCE GEORGE  |  WHL  |  D

JONATHAN ANG  |  PETERBOROUGH  |  OHL  |  C

RASMUS ASPLUND  |  FARJESTAD  |  SWEDEN  |  C

NATHAN BASTIAN  |  MISSISSAUGA  |  OHL  |  RW

JAKE BEAN  |  CALGARY  |  WHL  |  D

KIEFFER BELLOWS  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  LW

TYLER BENSON  |  VANCOUVER  |  WHL  |  LW

WILLIAM BITTEN  |  FLINT  |  OHL  |  C

HENRIK BORGSTROM  |  HIFK JR.  |  FINLAND-JR.  |  C

JESPER BRATT  |  AIK  |  SWEDEN-2  |  LW/RW

LOGAN BROWN  |  WINDSOR  |  OHL  |  C

VOJTECH BUDIK  |  PRINCE ALBERT  |  WHL  |  D

CONNOR BUNNAMAN  |  KITCHENER  |  OHL  |  C

NICHOLAS CAAMANO  |  FLINT  |  OHL  |  RW

MATTHEW CAIRNS  |  GEORGETOWN  |  OJHL  |  D

JACOB CEDERHOLM  |  HV 71 JR.  |  SWEDEN-JR.  |  D

DENNIS CHOLOWSKI  |  CHILLIWACK  |  BCHL  |  D

JAKOB CHYCHRUN  |  SARNIA  |  OHL  |  D

KALE CLAGUE  |  BRANDON  |  WHL  |  D

EVAN CORMIER  |  SAGINAW  |  OHL  |  G

JONATHAN DAHLEN  |  TIMRA  |  SWEDEN-2  |  C

SEAN DAY  |  MISSISSAUGA  |  OHL  |  D

ALEXANDER DEBRINCAT  |  ERIE  |  OHL  |  RW

CAM DINEEN  |  NORTH BAY  |  OHL  |  D

DILLON DUBE  |  KELOWNA  |  WHL  |  C

PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS  |  CAPE BRETON  |  QMJHL  |  LW

DANTE FABBRO  |  PENTICTON  |  BCHL  |  D

MATT FILIPE  |  CEDAR RAPIDS  |  USHL  |  LW

EVAN FITZPATRICK  |  SHERBROOKE  |  QMJHL  |  G

ADAM FOX  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  D

TRENT FREDERIC  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  C

JULIEN GAUTHIER  |  VAL-D'OR  |  QMJHL  |  RW

TIMOTHY GETTINGER  |  SAULT STE. MARIE  |  OHL  |  LW

BRANDON GIGNAC  |  SHAWINIGAN  |  QMJHL  |  C

SAMUEL GIRARD  |  SHAWINIGAN  |  QMJHL  |  D

BENJAMIN GLEASON  |  HAMILTON  |  OHL  |  D

MICHAEL GRAHAM  |  EDEN PRAIRIE  |  HIGH-MN  |  C

LUKE GREEN  |  SAINT JOHN  |  QMJHL  |  D

JAMES GREENWAY  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  D

NOAH GREGOR  |  MOOSE JAW  |  WHL  |  C

CARL GRUNDSTROM  |  MODO  |  SWEDEN  |  RW

FILIP GUSTAVSSON  |  LULEA JR.  |  SWEDEN-JR.  |  G

LIBOR HAJEK  |  SASKATOON  |  WHL  |  D

CARTER HART  |  EVERETT  |  WHL  |  G

BRETT HOWDEN  |  MOOSE JAW  |  WHL  |  C

FILIP HRONEK  |  HR. KRALOVE  |  CZREP  |  D

LUCAS JOHANSEN  |  KELOWNA  |  WHL  |  D

MAX JONES  |  LONDON  |  OHL  |  LW

TYSON JOST  |  PENTICTON  |  BCHL  |  C

OLLI JUOLEVI  |  LONDON  |  OHL  |  D

TANNER KASPICK  |  BRANDON  |  WHL  |  C

BORIS KATCHOUK  |  SAULT STE. MARIE  |  OHL  |  LW

ARTUR KAYUMOV  |  TEAM RUSSIA U18  |  RUSSIA-JR.  |  LW/RW

CLAYTON KELLER  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  C

WILLIAM KNIERIM  |  DUBUQUE  |  USHL  |  RW

JACK KOPACKA  |  SAULT STE. MARIE  |  OHL  |  LW

CHAD KRYS  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  D

LUKE KUNIN  |  U OF WISCONSIN  |  BIG10  |  C

VLADIMIR KUZNETSOV  |  ACADIE-BATHURST  |  QMJHL  |  RW

JORDAN KYROU  |  SARNIA  |  OHL  |  C

PASCAL LABERGE  |  VICTORIAVILLE  |  QMJHL  |  C

PATRIK LAINE  |  TAPPARA  |  FINLAND  |  RW

MAXIME LAJOIE  |  SWIFT CURRENT  |  WHL  |  D

RYAN LINDGREN  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  D

LINUS LINDSTROM  |  SKELLEFTEA JR.  |  SWEDEN-JR.  |  C

WILLIAM LOCKWOOD  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  RW

GRIFFIN LUCE  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  D

JOSHUA MAHURA  |  RED DEER  |  WHL  |  D

OTTO MAKINEN  |  TAPPARA JR.  |  FINLAND-JR.  |  C

BECK MALENSTYN  |  CALGARY  |  WHL  |  LW

ADAM MASCHERIN  |  KITCHENER  |  OHL  |  LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS  |  ZURICH  |  SWISS  |  C

MITCHELL MATTSON  |  GRAND RAPIDS  |  HIGH-MN  |  C

CHARLES MCAVOY  |  BOSTON UNIVERSITY  |  H-EAST  |  D

MICHAEL MCLEOD  |  MISSISSAUGA  |  OHL  |  C

GRAHAM MCPHEE  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  LW

VICTOR METE  |  LONDON  |  OHL  |  D

KEATON MIDDLETON  |  SAGINAW  |  OHL  |  D

CAMERON MORRISON  |  YOUNGSTOWN  |  USHL  |  LW

JACOB MOVERARE  |  HV 71 JR.  |  SWEDEN-JR.  |  D

BRETT MURRAY  |  CARLETON PLACE  |  CCHL  |  LW

MARKUS NIEMELAINEN  |  SAGINAW  |  OHL  |  D

ALEXANDER NYLANDER  |  MISSISSAUGA  |  OHL  |  LW

TYLER PARSONS  |  LONDON  |  OHL  |  G

ANDREW PEEKE  |  GREEN BAY  |  USHL  |  D

CLIFF PU  |  LONDON  |  OHL  |  RW

JESSE PULJUJARVI  |  KARPAT  |  FINLAND  |  RW

JOSEPH RAAYMAKERS  |  SAULT STE. MARIE  |  OHL  |  G

TAYLOR RADDYSH  |  ERIE  |  OHL  |  RW

TY RONNING  |  VANCOUVER  |  WHL  |  RW

GERMAN RUBTSOV  |  TEAM RUSSIA U18  |  RUSSIA-JR.  |  C

JORDAN SAMBROOK  |  ERIE  |  OHL  |  D

ZACHARY SAWCHENKO  |  MOOSE JAW  |  WHL  |  G

MIKHAIL SERGACHEV  |  WINDSOR  |  OHL  |  D

GIVANI SMITH  |  GUELPH  |  OHL  |  RW

OTTO SOMPPI  |  HALIFAX  |  QMJHL  |  C

JORDAN STALLARD  |  CALGARY  |  WHL  |  C

LOGAN STANLEY  |  WINDSOR  |  OHL  |  D

SAM STEEL  |  REGINA  |  WHL  |  C

RILEY STILLMAN  |  OSHAWA  |  OHL  |  D

SIMON STRANSKY  |  PRINCE ALBERT  |  WHL  |  LW

GABRIEL SYLVESTRE  |  SHAWINIGAN  |  QMJHL  |  D

TAGE THOMPSON  |  U OF CONNECTICUT  |  H-EAST  |  C

MATTHEW TKACHUK  |  LONDON  |  OHL  |  LW

RILEY TUFTE  |  BLAINE  |  HIGH-MN  |  LW

EETU TUULOLA  |  HPK JR.  |  FINLAND-JR.  |  RW

CARSEN TWARYNSKI  |  CALGARY  |  WHL  |  LW

DYLAN WELLS  |  PETERBOROUGH  |  OHL  |  G

JOSEPH WOLL  |  USA U-18  |  USHL  |  G

MAX ZIMMER  |  CHICAGO  |  USHL  |  LW
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