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Quebec's Erne goes first in fitness test

by Adam Kimelman

TORONTO -- Quebec Remparts forward Adam Erne had the distinction of being the first player to complete the fitness testing circuit at the NHL Scouting Combine.

It wasn't easy, with the giant ballroom packed with NHL scouts and general managers, as well as media members staring at his every move.

"It's different," Erne said. "It really is. I didn't know what to expect with the setup. They're all right in your face, smiling at you. It's different, for sure."

Erne is used to performing well in high-pressure situations. The 6-foot-0.5, 210-pound left wing had 28 goals and 72 points in 68 regular-season games, and added five goals and five assists in 11 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff games. He's No. 26 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft.

But getting poked, prodded and pushed in his testing at the Combine was unique.

"It's different here, when there's a thousand people watching you and yelling at you," he said.

Erne said the toughest test were the twin stationary bikes, the Wingate and the VO2 Max tests.

"The bike tests are something everybody talks about," he said. "You watch the videos, it looks really tough [but] I was surprised. The Wingate was really, really tough. … It's surprising how quick a 30-second sprint can kill you."


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