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Fitness testing gets started at NHL Scouting Combine

by Mike G. Morreale

BUFFALO -- The final day of the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine officially kicked off here at HarborCenter on Saturday morning with a dozen top prospects testing on the nine events.

There were three prospects medically exempt from testing on Saturday, Oshawa Generals defenseman Mitchell Vande Sompel, Omaha Lancers center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. Niagara IceDogs defenseman Vince Dunn was medically exempt from lower-body testing; Everett Silvertips defenseman Noah Juulsen did not test since he had to return home for high school graduation.

Goaltender Ilya Samsonov of Magnitogorsk in Russia was unable to attend the Combine; no reason was provided. Samsonov is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international goalies.

The initial group of players to test consisted of forwards Paul Bittner of the Portland Winterhawks, Filip Chlapik (Charlottetown Islanders), Anthony Cirelli (Oshawa Generals), Jesse Gabrielle (Regina Pats), David Kase (Chomutov, CZE), Thomas Novak (Waterloo Black Hawks), Michael Spacek (Pardubice, CZE) and Pavel Zacha (Sarnia Sting), defensemen Ethan Bear (Seattle Thunderbirds), Parker Wotherspoon (Tri-City Americans) and Jakub Zboril (Saint John Sea Dogs) and goaltender Daniel Vladar (Kladno, CZE).

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, began testing at 10:30 a.m. ET. Boston University center Jack Eichel, No. 2 on Central Scouting's final ranking, was scheduled at 11:30 a.m. ET.


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