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Hanifin: Big breakfast fueled Combine fitness testing

by Noah Hanifin

Noah Hanifin, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, completed his freshman season at Boston College in Hockey East in 2014-15. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound left-shot defenseman had five goals and 23 points in 37 games. He also represented the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. He had eight goals and 33 points in 45 games for the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team in 2013-14. The native of Norwood, Mass., has offered to maintain a blog for leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. His latest entry comes from the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.

Hello from Buffalo.

I had my final few interviews Friday and they went great. I met with 13 teams here at the Combine. It was really nice to meet all the people who got to watch us all year. I thought all the interviews went well. There were a few I thought went exceptionally well, but you never know. They all kept a straight face and didn't give you any heads-up about what could happen. It makes the draft more exciting.

Any team that meets with you has to take the interview very serious because they don't know what's going to happen at the draft. There could be trades, people sliding down. It was a really good process.

Friday afternoon, Jack Eichel and I got to tour some old World War II warships docked across the street from HarborCenter. One is the USS Sullivans. It's named for the Sullivan brothers, five brothers from Iowa who all died on the ship when it was sunk during the war. We also got to go on a submarine. That was a really cool experience for Jack and I. We have had the experience of playing for our country in the past but seeing this gives you appreciation for what wearing the uniform really means.

Saturday morning was the fitness testing. I woke up at 7:30 a.m. ET, which was a little earlier than I planned but I was kind of anxious for this. I took a shower, got a bite to eat, warmed up for a while.

Some people aren't sure if they should eat before the testing or not, but I had a lot of fruit, wanted to get a lot of antioxidants in me. Had some eggs, some carbs. Hydrate a lot, tons of water.

It's cool and real intense walking into the room to test. There are a lot of guys who are in really good shape here and there are a lot of scouts here today and general managers watching you. It was really cool to get to compete and prove yourself to teams.

The pull-ups were tough for me. I got 11 or 12 of them but they only counted seven, because you have to do them a certain way, so I was a little disappointed in that. I thought I did a lot better on the bench press then I thought I was going to do. And the Wingate bike test was as expected -- very tough. You feel like you're cruising, like you're doing really well and you're almost done and then they say 10 seconds left and you're like, uh-oh. But in all it went by quick. Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

I'm heading back home after this for some more summer training. I work out at a place called EPS in Foxborough, Mass., with a guy named Brian McDonagh. He trains a lot of NHL players like Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild and Brian Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But this week has been a really cool experience.

Thanks for reading.

Follow Noah Hanifin on Twitter: @nhanifin

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