With this year's NHL Combine scheduled to take place in the next week, the Flyers staff will prepare to get a look at this year's top prospects. Having already gone through an NHL Combine, Flyers rookie Travis Konecny spoke to PhiladelphiaFlyers.com looking back on his experience at the annual event that precedes the Entry Draft.
Q: LOOKING BACK TO 2015, WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THE NHL COMBINE LIKE?
"I actually had a great experience. From what I remember, the NHL, they do their homework and they put you with someone that you're close with. I was put with my best buddy, Lawson Crouse, and I remember a couple other guys being roomed with their best buddy. So the NHL gives you the best opportunity to be relaxed and enjoy the week that you're there."
Q: WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF ALL THE TESTING STATIONS, ALL THE TEAMS AND ALL PROSPECTS THERE AT ONCE?
"I remember it being very organized. You're nervous about all your interviews and meetings and things like that. I remember it being really fun actually and having the opportunity to meet new people and challenge yourself. You know you're all being judged in the same draft, so it's cool to meet all the guys you're competing against."
Q: HOW DID YOU DO IN THE FAMOUS VO2 MAX TEST?
"It was challenging, but actually I did a few times previously to make sure I was prepared for it, so I knew what to expect going in. I remember it being really hard though. It's actually pretty scary because you have a mask over your mouth so some guys get scared, claustrophobic, so it was good that I set it up beforehand and got prepared for it.
"It's nerve-wracking for young guys because you're going in and you have people watching you and as soon as you get off the bike there's a tent that you have to go in and make sure your health is ok because a lot of guys throw up. It's a really hard test and if you're not ready for it, it can definitely get you."
Q: HOW MANY TEAMS DID YOU INTERVIEW WITH?
"I think I interviewed with 28 teams, so I had a pretty busy schedule. I remember there were some guys who had four teams, some had 10, some had all 30."
Q: WHAT WAS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE - ANY WEIRD QUESTIONS OR UNUSUAL MOMENTS?
"I didn't have any weird questions but I had a unique experience which taught me a lot and that you need to be a role model wherever you are and make sure you're being a good person.
"I had an interview with Detroit. One of the guys on the staff, he brought me into the hallway after the meeting and he wanted to let me know that in Ottawa, when I used to play there, there was a kid that was scared of our mascot and he wouldn't skate on the ice for a fan skate. So I took time out and went over to the little kid and brought him onto the ice to do the fan skate with the team. Little did I know, it was this Detroit staff member's son and he had watched the whole thing, so he told me about that after my meeting with the team at the Combine. It was one of those moments where you realize that it doesn't matter where you are, there's always people watching and you're being judged on who you are as a person and your character. It was pretty cool."
This year's NHL Combine is set to take place from May 29-June 3 in Buffalo, NY. The Flyers own the 2nd overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, as well as 10 other selections from Rounds 2 through 7. For everything Flyers Draft related, check out DRAFT CENTRAL HERE…