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Tambellini knows the drill at Scouting Combine

by Mike G. Morreale

TORONTO -- It's pretty safe to assume that center Adam Tambellini of the Surrey Eagles in the British Columbia Hockey League had a good idea what questions would be asked during team interviews at the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine.

As the son of former Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini, the 6-foot-2.25, 169-pound left-handed shot had quite the advantage.

"We had a little demo going at home, and it was cool to hear what he had to say about it and what they're looking for because he used to be the one asking the questions," Tambellini told, referencing his father. "It was nice to lean on him for some help, and I think it worked out."

Tambellini, No. 42 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, scored the game-winning goal in double overtime for the Eagles in a series-clinching 3-2 victory against the defending league champion Penticton Vees on April 21. He called it the most memorable moment of his career.

"Winning the BCHL championship was a massive thing for our team, especially going up against a good team in Penticton," Tambellini said. "They were skilled and had a lot of firepower, but I think we felt we were the deeper team and it was nice to get that goal in double OT."

The Fred Page Cup title was the fourth in franchise history and first for Surrey since 2005.

Tambellini was listed as a "B" prospect at the start of the season when he was with the Vernon Vipers; he was traded to Surrey on Jan. 10. The University of North Dakota recruit had 36 goals and 65 points in 52 games for Vernon and Surrey. In 16 games with Surrey, he had 14 goals and 26 points. He added 10 goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games for the Eagles.

"He's a lot like his bloodlines," Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald said of Tambellini. "He's very good with the puck and has really nice size. People were waiting for the trade, and at Christmas his game took off. He's got an NHL shot and can score … he has a nice wrist shot as well. He can beat goalies clean from the dots on that wrister. He's got a quick release, is efficient and intelligent."

He's the top player from the BCHL in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking and is honored to be a part of the Combine. He won't be testing on any of the lower-body events at the fitness portion of the week -- he sustained a minor injury in the second round of the playoffs -- but he will test in the upper-body activities.

"I look at myself as an offensive center," he said. "I like to play both ends of the rink and like to shoot the puck as much as possible. Hopefully I get an opportunity to dish to my linemates too."

He said he's excited to be headed to college in the fall.

"I'll leave for North Dakota around mid-August, and I'm really excited to get going there and being a part of the great tradition," he said. "I think they produce so many good players out of that program. Look at their top guys, like [Jonathan] Toews and [Zach] Parise. It's cool to see what they're doing now in the NHL … they're obviously great people off the ice as well."


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