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McDavid, Konecny excel in on- and off-ice testing

by Mike G. Morreale /

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- Erie Otters center Connor McDavid on Wednesday provided NHL scouts one more reason why they should strongly consider him for the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26.

McDavid, who will captain Team Bobby Orr at the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at Meridian Centre on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SN, TVA Sports), excelled in the on- and off-ice testing to gauge the fitness and skill levels of all 40 participating players for NHL management and scouts.

The data that was supplied to NHL Central Scouting and distributed to NHL teams provides valuable performance benchmarks.

McDavid, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 draft, finished first in the on-ice portion of the testing, which included 10 specialized drills, and third in the off-ice tests. All testing was conducted by Sport Testing.

On-ice tests included forward and backwards sprints, reaction, weave agility and transition agility performed with and without the puck. The off-ice testing done earlier in the day evaluated strength and included agility runs, sprints and leg power.

"We didn't really do a crazy amount of off-ice testing but it's always important to keep your body in good shape and make sure you're doing all the right things on the ice," McDavid said. "Right now I'm focused on the Top Prospects Game and then the Otters and making sure things are going well there. When the season is over then I can think about the [NHL Scouting Combine].

"We traded for some really good players [in Erie], and adding those pieces now just made us a better team. And the next couple months will be dedicated not to the NHL draft but to winning an Ontario Hockey League championship."

In the on-ice element, London Knights center Mitchell Marner (No. 7 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking) finished second, followed by Ottawa 67's center Travis Konecny (No. 26), Niagara IceDogs defenseman Vince Dunn (No. 53) and Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Brendan Guhle (No. 76).

"I was pretty impressed with myself," Dunn said. "I saw what my strengths and weaknesses were and it was a lot of fun. It was mostly the same stuff that I went through at the OHL combine, but I thought I could improve on my straight 30-meter backward and forward sprint."

Marner, who leads all Canadian Hockey League players with 90 points, thought it was a fun day.

"Some of the things I haven't done yet and it was good to see the scores and have that little competition with all your buddies out there," he said. "We joke around with each other."

Konecny earned the top score in the off-ice component, following by Kingston Frontenacs center Lawson Crouse (No. 4), McDavid, Guhle, and Niagara IceDogs left wing Graham Knott (No. 54). Konecny and Tri-City Americans defenseman Brandon Carlo (No. 16) had an intriguing battle in the vertical jump, a key determinant of leg power. Konecny won by a half inch with a leap of 33.5 inches. Crouse had an outstanding broad jump (9 feet, 4 inches) and medicine ball toss (20 feet, 8 inches).

In specialized Sport Testing for goalies, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada goaltender Samuel Montembeault (No. 3 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders) earned the top score, which included tests in reaction, agility and movement challenges.


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