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NHL Combine

Dahlin, Svechnikov among those in spotlight at 2018 NHL Scouting Combine

Event gives teams chance to meet, analyze 104 top prospects ahead of Draft

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov, the projected top two picks in the 2018 NHL Draft, are among 104 prospects scheduled to participate in the 2018 NHL Scouting Combine at KeyBank Center and HarborCenter in Buffalo beginning Monday.

The combine gives the 31 NHL teams physical and medical assessments of the top prospects ahead of the 2018 draft at American Airlines Center in Dallas on June 22-23.


[RELATED: 2018 NHL Draft coverage]


"The combine week is always an interesting event for Central Scouting that seems to go by very quickly," said Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr. "The goal is to present an event that allows NHL personnel to interact with the future stars of our game and assist the NHL clubs in their pursuit of gaining as much knowledge about the draft prospects as possible. Central Scouting looks forward to hosting the prospects during combine week so that they can further showcase themselves."

There are 60 forwards, 37 defensemen, and seven goaltenders attending the combine. All are listed on NHL Central Scouting's final rankings of North American and International skaters and goaltenders.

Teams can have 1-on-1 interviews with the prospects at KeyBank Center from Monday through Friday. The medical examinations will take place Thursday, and a majority of the fitness testing will take place at HarborCenter on Saturday.

Video: Taking a look at the #1 draft prospect Rasmus Dahlin

No player can test until clearing the medical screening.

"The combine is another tool that we can use and, personally, I like sizing the player up face-to-face and trying to figure out his character," Dallas Stars director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell said. "The latter is very difficult, if not impossible. If we could figure that out in an 18-year-old player, life would be a little less complicated."

Dahlin (6-foot-2, 181 pounds), a defenseman with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League, is believed to be a generational NHL star. He had 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists), a plus-4 rating and 84 shots on goal in 41 games for Frolunda. He also was named the best defenseman at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship after he had six assists and a plus-7 rating and helped Sweden win the silver medal.

He is No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of International skaters, and expected to be chosen No. 1 by the Buffalo Sabres. The Carolina Hurricanes hold the No. 2 selection, and the Montreal Canadiens have the No. 3 pick.

Svechnikov (6-2, 188), a right wing with Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League, led OHL rookies in goals (40) and points (72) in 44 games. He also had a plus-26 rating and 174 shots on goal. He also had 11 points (five goals, six assists) in seven OHL playoff games.

He is No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the NHL draft.

Other top North American skaters invited to the Combine are left wing Brady Tkachuk (6-3, 196) of Boston University in Hockey East, right wing Filip Zadina (6-0, 195) of Halifax in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, defenseman Evan Bouchard (6-2, 193) of London (OHL), defenseman Noah Dobson (6-3, 180) of Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL), and defenseman Quintin Hughes (5-9, 170) of the University of Michigan in the Big 10.

Defenseman Adam Boqvist (5-11, 168) of Brynas in Sweden's junior league, right wing Vitali Kravtsov (6-2, 170) of Chelyabinsk in Russia, right wing Martin Kaut (6-1, 176) of Pardubice in the Czech Republic, and defenseman Adam Ginning (6-3, 196) of Linkoping in Sweden are among the top skaters from the final International ranking invited.

Olivier Rodrigue (6-1, 159) of Drummondville (QMJHL) and Lukas Dostal (6-1, 158) of Trebic in the Czech Republic second division are among the goaltenders attending the combine.

Rodrigue, No. 1 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goaltenders, went 34-16-3 with a 2.54 goals-against average, three shutouts, and a .903 save percentage in 53 games. Dostal is No. 1 on the final ranking of International goaltenders; he had a .921 save percentage in 20 games with Trebic, and had a 1.40 GAA and .959 save percentage in seven playoff games to help Brno win the Czech Under-20 league title.

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