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NHL Draft

2018 Draft Diary: Kevin Bahl

OHL defenseman going through interviews, looks ahead to testing at NHL Scouting Combine

by Kevin Bahl / Special to NHL.com

Defenseman Kevin Bahl (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) of Ottawa in the Ontario Hockey League is No. 29 in NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft. Bahl had 18 points (one goal, 17 assists), 76 penalty minutes and 58 shots on goal in 58 regular-season games for the 67's. The left-handed shot has offered to maintain a draft diary for NHL.com, leading up to the NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22-23. His latest post comes on Day 2 of the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.

Hello hockey fans.

So I arrived at the Scouting Combine on Sunday and it's been great so far after two days of interviewing. It's great seeing and meeting up with the players you haven't seen in a while; it's cool to see how everyone is doing. I have 23 scheduled interviews at the combine before the start of testing Saturday. I've had nine interviews in the first two days.

 

[RELATED:Complete 2018 NHL Draft coverage]

 

The questions I've been asked have been both easy and tough. I think a lot of times the teams are trying to get a weird reaction out of you and force you to say something that maybe you're not supposed to say. One person asked me, 'What do you hate about hockey?' I don't know. I don't hate anything about hockey. What am I supposed to hate about hockey? There's nothing to hate about hockey. So that was definitely one of the weird questions.

Coming to the combine and doing these interviews, one of the biggest things teams are looking for is character and I feel like I show that every time I'm talking to a team. That's huge especially when you're drafting a guy who you are expecting to be a part of your team for a number of years. Going into the actual combine, you want to prove physically that you're developed and that there's a lot of raw potential you might be able to exploit down the road.

As far as the bike tests go, you just got to do it. It's going to be hard but you just have to get it done. I've only been on a bike three times in the last year, so I'm definitely not one of the guys who will improve their score. I realize they just want to check your heart rate and heart patterns, and your output on the Wingate. But in terms of muscle groups, there's not a lot to prove to the scouts when on the bikes other than showing that you have a good motor.

One area of my game I want to work on is creating offense from defense. Just making quick, smart plays, getting the puck up quick or getting the puck up from your wing and the point and getting a shot through and making sure it's hitting the net and not getting blocked.

We're not going to have a young team next year, but a more experienced team and that's a good thing. 

For me, personally, it's good to set the expectations for the young guys and keep on building to that culture of winning. In these next couple of years, I really want our team to go for it and I want to make sure this group turns out to be something special, and not just thought of as just another team.

I'll be going to the draft with my family in Dallas. It's an exciting time. It'll be a more exciting version of the OHL draft since you're going to be right there, watching it live. It's really going to be special and I'm looking forward to getting to Dallas.

Until next time, enjoy the Stanley Cup Final.

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