The 2017 NHL Scouting Combine takes place this week in Buffalo, NY, and for many of the prospects, it will be an opportunity to make a first impression on the management and staff of the NHL clubs in attendance.
Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and his team did a total of 86 player interviews throughout the course of the 2016 NHL Combine. At the conclusion of those interviews, he spoke about the value of having the opportunity to talk with players in that environment.
"It's amazing how many times you find out something. Whether it's 'why did you go through this slump in November?' or just different things like that," said Cheveldayoff. "It could have been a sick parent, or an illness they had that you don't know. If you don't get to ask the questions, you don't find out. It's an important week."
While the interviews take place over a full week, the fitness component of the Combine won't take place until Friday and Saturday.
Friday's fitness tests include:
Y-Balance: A test performed in a single-leg stance with the goal of the athlete to maintain that stance while reaching as far as possible with the other leg. This test is used to demonstrate functional symmetry.
Functional Movement Screen: The FMS attempts to identify limitations, weaknesses, or right/left side imbalances in basic movements. The seven movements (deep squat, hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg raise, trunk stability, push-up, and rotary stability) are graded using a 0-3 system.
Grip Strength: The test is conducted on both hands using a hand grip dynamometer.
Aerobic Fitness VO2 Max: Performed on a grade spin bike, a prospect's aerobic fitness is assessed by measuring the amount of oxygen used (VO2) during maximal exercise.
Saturday's tests include:
Standing Long Jump
Bench Press: Test weight varies depending on prospect's weight in pounds, and repetitions must be done in time with the metronome.
Pro Agility Test: Evaluates a prospect's mult-directional speed using a series of 15, 30, and 15-foot shuttle runs.
AccuPower Dual Force Plate System: This test will be used to measure the direction, timing, and strength of the force a prospect produces during a hockey-related movement.
Wingate Test: After a short warm up, the athlete pedals at maximal capacity against the designated resistance for 30 seconds.
JetsTV and WinnipegJets.com will be on-site at KeyBank Center and the HarborCenter throughout the weekend to bring all the sights, sounds, and prospect interviews from the event.