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2017 Combine Primer

Get prepped for the 2017 NHL Scouting Combine with our event primer

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The 2017 NHL Scouting Combine will take place this weekend in Buffalo, NY. The two-day event is a chance for every NHL club to interview, test and evaluate the top prospects in the upcoming NHL Draft, which takes place June 23-24 in Chicago, IL. Here's everything you should know about the event.

WHAT: Gathering of the draft's top prospects and other requested players for interviews with the teams, fitness testing and pre-draft prep work. General managers, scouts and other front office staff members from each team will be in attendance.

WHEN: June 2-3

WHERE: The Harborcenter in Buffalo

TESTS: There are two rounds of fitness testing for the prospects in attendance. The first of which will be performed outside of the Fitness Testing Day window (June 3). The second will take place during the window.

The following are the tests the players will participate in outside of the window.

  • Y-Balance: This test is performed in a single-leg stance that requires strength, flexibility, core control and proprioception. The test assesses physical performance, functional symmetry and helps identify a player's greater risk of lower extremity injury. The goal is to maintain the single-leg stance on one leg while reaching as far as possible with the other leg.

  • Functional Movement Screen: This test attempts to identify problems with limitations, weaknesses or imbalances in basic levels of movement. The player will attempt seven movement tests and be graded on a 0-to-3 scale, assessing mobility and stability.

  • Grip Strength: The prospects will take part in a test of grip strength, extending their arm and squeezing the dynamometer as forcefully as possible.

  • Aerobic Fitness VO2max: This test assesses the amount of oxygen utilized during maximal exercise. This also utilizes a heart-rate monitor to record data for heart rate based training. The athlete pedals the stationary bike through different work levels as instructed.

The following are tests the athletes will perform on June 3 during the Fitness Testing Day window, and are open to NHL clubs and media members.

  • Standing Height: The athlete's height measurements will be taken and recorded for scouting accuracy.

  • Wingspan: The prospect extends their arms straight to the side and wingspan is measured to the nearest .2 cm.

  • Standing Long Jump: The prospect stands with feet slightly to their side and uses an arm swing to assist, jumping as far as possible. Distance is measured to the heel mark in a best-of-three trial.

  • Jump Station: A force plate system is used to measure the direction, strength and timing of the forces the athlete produces during a hockey related movement. The test will help determine movement efficiency, physical performance and injury potential.

  • Bench Press: The athlete lifts 70-80% of their body weight using free weights, including the barbell, in time with the metronome. The number of consecutive repetitions completed before the athlete falls behind the cadence is recorded.

  • Pro Agility Test: 5-10-5 yard shuttle evaluates multi-directional speed, agility and body reaction and control.

  • Pull Ups: This test records the maximum number of consecutive repetitions performed by the athlete and evaluates their forearm and upper arm flexor muscular strength and endurance.

WHAT'S NEXT: Oilers TV and will be on location in Buffalo, bringing you interviews with many of the prospects in attendance. In addition, we will have written and video coverage of any breaking news, comments from the Oilers brass and more. The Sport Chek Panel will also be on location to bring you the latest analysis of the event. This weekend, we will launch our Sport Chek NHL Draft site to bring you all of the content leading up to and through the draft in Chicago.

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