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Y-Balance provides unique test for players at combine

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO – The 2015 NHL Scouting Combine featured many physical tests for the top prospects in the 2015 NHL Draft to take part in, but the newest one that tested their abilities was the Y-Balance test.

The Y-Balance is used to test each player’s strength, flexibility, and core control. The player stands at the center of a Y-shaped board on a single leg and use their other leg to slide outward on one of the axis. For many players it was a new challenge to go with the other tests.

"I think it's kind of a way to challenge yourself to go farther every time," University of Michigan defenseman Zachary Werenski said. "You get a couple tries on each one. It's just a good way to push yourself. It was different, I've never done it before but it was fun."

Each player gets three tries to get the maximum reach in each direction from three different types of reaches. The results of the test are not made available.

"I've done it a couple times actually so, it wasn't too weird for me personally," London Knights forward Mitchell Marner said. "I’ve trained for that a couple times. It's just about getting low and kind of pushing as far as you can and seeing how really low you can get and how really far you can push it. It's kind of new for some people, but I was kind of used to it."

With tests like the shuttle run, pull-ups, and the Wingate Cycle Ergometer, the Y-Balance provided a different challenge that required strong balance and flexibility.

"It was cool. It was something different, a little awkward," Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin said. "Obviously it's pretty important. All these tests here, I think, are fairly important to judge a player's physical skills, so it was good."

The three different reaches players had to do resemble skating motions seen on the ice. Even though that might sound natural to do, it’s a bit different when doing it as a test.

"You fall off balance a couple of times but that's all part of it," Kingston Frontenacs forward Lawson Crouse said. "You're obviously trying to push yourself to be the best, so if you're doing that you should push yourself to be in awkward positions and at the end of the day I'm very happy with how I performed out there."

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