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-handed defenseman has offered to maintain a draft diary for NHL.com leading up to the draft in Chicago. His June blog comes from the conclusion of the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.
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It's been a busy week at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.
It was a unique experience being put in an environment like this where all 31 NHL teams are here and we get a chance to talk to the majority of those teams. I was pretty busy all week with 24 interviews. I thought overall it was a good week.
I thought all my interviews went well and it's just a chance to be able to show my personality, show what kind of kid I am, and I think that's an important part of being a hockey player is showing what kind of character you have.
The two hardest tests I had to do this week involved the bikes. The VO2 Max test I did on Friday and the Wingate test on Saturday were both pretty rough. The trainers push you right to the end and my legs still feel kind of like Jell-O right now!
Some people tried to describe the Wingate as being like one really hard on-ice shift, but it's really above and beyond that. In a shift sometimes you can maybe get away with gliding a little bit but, you're going full out for 30 seconds there. It's maybe more like a good penalty kill shift.
Some of my friends here tried their best to prepare me for how hard it was going to be. My roommate Cameron Crotty, a defenseman for Brockville of the Central Canada Hockey League, came back to the room on Saturday and I asked him how it was and he didn't really say anything, he just shook his head. And I thought, "Oh that's pretty tough!" I think all of the guys were giving that same kind of message that it was pretty tough, so I didn't really know what to expect. Obviously I knew it was going to be hard, but it was hard! If anyone asked me about it I'd say pretty much the same thing. It was pretty tough.
I had a really good experience here. It's something you only get to do once so you've got to make the most of it and I'm going to remember this whole experience, this whole draft experience including the combine, for the rest of my life.
Next up is the NHL Draft at United Center in Chicago on June 23-24 and I'm really looking forward to it. It's something that's always kind of in the back of your head and now we're at the point in the year where there's nothing else standing between me and the draft, and I've got everything else behind me.
I'm looking forward to traveling there with my family and it's going to be a special day. I know my mom and dad are really looking forward to it as well. It's something that not only I worked for but they put in a lot of work that goes unnoticed by everyone pretty much but me, but it's going to be a special day for my family and I'm going to enjoy it with them.
Until then, thanks for reading. I'll check in again from Chicago!
Video: An inside look at the 2017 NHL Combine