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NHL Combine

2017 Draft diary: Nicolas Hague

Mississauga defenseman discusses first interview at NHL Scouting Combine, how he could take game to next level

by Nicolas Hague / Special to NHL.com

Nicolas Hague, No. 20 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, has played two seasons with Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League. He had 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists), and six power-play goals in 65 regular-season games. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound left-shot defenseman has offered to maintain a draft diary for NHL.com leading up to the draft in Chicago. His May blog comes from the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.

Hello from the NHL Combine!

I'm posting this entry after my first of 24 team interviews from KeyBank Center in Buffalo. For me, I just want to be myself and I don't want to sound as if I scripted the interviews. I just want to answer truthfully because that's what I know the teams want to hear.

You never know how the general managers and scouts will think, but I'm confident with how the week will go. There were no odd questions so far. Everything has been pretty typical and straightforward.

I really didn't get to do much prep or practicing before getting to the combine since our season ended pretty late. We only had a week to kind of do anything to prepare. I'm basically just relying on my physical ability. I've never done the Wingate Cycle bike test (to measure the explosiveness of a skater) or the VO2 Aerobic Fitness bike test (to measure endurance), so we'll see how it goes. I was able to get to the gym but it was just to get my body back into shape, since I was pretty beat up after the Ontario Hockey League playoffs [and a best-of-7 series loss to Erie in the OHL final in five games].

This really is an interesting draft. I think anyone could be selected anywhere. That's kind of where the draft is and what everyone is thinking right now. You never know what will happen until your name gets called. It's going to be exciting and I'm really looking forward to draft day (on June 23-24 at United Center in Chicago).

I think one thing I really learned over the second half of the OHL season was playing that shutdown role. I feel that was an area of my game that really improved over the second half; being real hard to play against and not getting scored upon. I think that's what I need to do. That's a big part of my game that I need to transfer to the next level. I have a good idea what I need to do to play that role.

Well, that's it for now. I'll check back again at the end of the combine. Thanks for reading.

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