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NHL Scouting Combine: Day 2

by Kristi Hennessy / Winnipeg Jets

105 of the top prospects of the 2012 NHL Draft class were invited to the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto to put their bodies and minds to the tests. In three short days, each athlete will  interview with as many as 30 NHL teams as well as take part in a number of vigorous fitness tests. is on location in Toronto at the International Centre to provide coverage of the physical testing on Friday June 1st,  and Saturday June 2nd and talk to some of the top prospects before the NHL Draft on June 23-24th in Pittsburgh.

The first day was had 66 prospects that were divided up into eight groups of eight or nine athletes that must go through the entire fitness portion of the combine. Things started at 7:30am and wrapped up at 6:00pm.

After the long and drury-weathered day in Toronto yesterday, and watching 66 prospects endure some of the most grueling tests I have ever seen,  it was nice to wake up to a dry ...not-too blue sky day and a much lighter schedule with only 38 athletes remaining on the list to be tested.

The list was mostly composed of prospects that are ranked to go in the second round as well as a few of the top European skaters ranked by Central Scouting.

With a lot less people in the room, we had a chance to get closer to the testing to see just how hard the prospects have to work. There are three to four "motivators" that surround each player on the bike pushing them to their limits yelling and screaming for them to give everything they have- and it works.

11:30-1:30PM: A few notables from the first couple groups on Saturday morning included:

Second-ranked Finnish winger Teuvo Teravainen, Tomas Hyka, Mikko Vainonen- Finland, Ville Pokka- Finland, Lukas Sutter-Canada, Tomas Hertl- Cze. Republic, and Ludwig Bystrom- Sweden.

Sutter, who plays for the Saskatoon Blades, didn't have to look far for some support and advice in his long list of hockey experienced family members.

"I just tried to soak it all up," said Sutter. "You want to make the most of it and to leave it all out there. You have nothing to save it for and it's your last chance to leave your impression on teams."

Sutter is coming off of his second season with the Blades in the WHL making huge strides from his rookie debut. This season he
put up 28 goals and 59 points in 70 games.
A lot of Sutters success can be attributed to the graduation of a few players on the Blades but he also attributes a lot of it to learning from teammate Brayden Schenn.

"Sure my minutes were reduced but I got an opportunity to learn from one of the best players in junior hockey each and every day," explained Sutter. "I credit a lot of my success to him. A lot of the little things we did after practice I really think helped me become the player I am today."

The top ten results in each category from Friday and Saturday's fitness testing will be posted soon.

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