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NHL Combine

Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier complete testing at NHL Scouting Combine

Likely top two picks turn attention to opening round of draft on June 23

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

BUFFALO -- Centers Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier, the projected top two picks in the 2017 NHL Draft, are glad the testing phase of the 2017 NHL Scouting Combine is in the rearview mirror.

Each excelled in different areas of the testing during the final two days of the combine but felt the Wingate cycle ergometer bike test, measuring the explosiveness of a skater, was most grueling of all on Saturday at HarborCenter.

"It was terrible; I was pretty zonked after that and my breakfast didn't stay down, so that was a tough one for sure," Patrick said. "I've never done it before so it was a different experience, but I wasn't nervous. I just tried to have fun with everything."

Said Hischier, "I knew the Wingate was going to be hard and it was hard, for sure."

Patrick (6-foot-2, 198 pounds), limited to 33 games this season for Brandon of the Western Hockey League because of an upper-body injury, was asked if the ailment played a part in his not feeling well after the Wingate test.

"I don't think [it was conditioning]," he said. "I don't think I was the only one in that room [holding a bucket]. It was tough for everyone. No matter how hard you trained for that, you're going to be pretty gassed when you leave it all out there."

Patrick, No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the draft, said it was tough not to peek at the previously completed test scores earlier in the day, including those of Hischier.

Video: Prospect Profile: Nolan Patrick

"It is tough when you're about to do [pull-ups] and see Nico atop the leaderboard," he said. "I'm thinking I got to put some up here. But I'm not competing against him. He's a great guy and when I see how well he did I'm happy for him. For me I don't think it's a competition at all. We're just happy to be ranked where we are and excited to move forward."

The New Jersey Devils own the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, to be held June 23-24 in Chicago, and the Philadelphia Flyers hold the No. 2 pick.

"I haven't thought about what it would be like to live in New Jersey or Philadelphia," Patrick said. "For now it's waiting and seeing what happens come draft day. I did all I could with being injured this year and playing through some injuries. So if a team likes me and takes me, I'd be honored to go anywhere."

Hischer (6-0, 176) of Halifax in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, No. 2 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, finished with 13 pullups to 11 for Patrick.

"You guys are probably going to think he has the edge on me now," Patrick said with a grin.

Patrick did have 12 repetitions on the bench press to seven for Hischier.

Video: Prospect Profile: Nico Hischier

Hischier said he thought it was motivating to have an athletic trainer screaming words of encouragement while pedaling as fast as he could on a stationary bike for 30 seconds.

"I think at the moment you hear it a little bit, but you're just focused on trying to give it everything you can," Hischier said. "It helps to motivate you for sure, though."

Patrick was glad he was medically cleared to perform all the tests. He had surgery in July to repair a sports hernia on his left side, but revealed Friday that doctors missed one he had on his right side, which was healed by way of therapeutic measures. He recovered well enough from the surgery he did have to be in Brandon's lineup for the first five games of the season but didn't play again until Jan. 13.

"I guess I'll see after I get drafted what the team wants to do moving forward but there are a ton of guys who have these injuries these days and everyone bounces back from it," Patrick said. "It mostly comes from over usage so I think that was part of my 105-game season last year (in 2015-16). It was a long run."

Next on the agenda for Patrick and Hischier is traveling to Bridgestone Arena to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators on Monday with fellow prospects Gabriel Vilardi of Windsor (Ontario Hockey League) and Casey Mittelstadt of Eden Prairie (HIGH-MN).



Standing long jump - 99.75"

Bench press repetitions (70% body weight) - 12

Pro agility test - Left: 4.76 seconds; Right: 4.75 seconds

Vertical jump - 19.49"

Pullups - 11



Standing long jump - 105.75"

Bench press repetitions (70% body weight) - 7

Pro agility test - Left: 4.75 seconds; Right: 4.53 seconds

Vertical jump - 19.37"

Pullups - 13

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