The Edmonton Oilers have been in Buffalo, New York all week for the NHL Scouting Combine. They've been interviewing prospects -- 85 of them to be exact -- in anticipation of the NHL Draft later this month.
Oilers Director of Player Personnel Bob Green, who helps head up the scouting department, was asked about some of the benefits of this event.
“Just putting a face to the name of the player that you’ve been watching all year,” Green began. “We don’t get a chance to meet these kids during the course of the season. We’ve had our area scouts out and they’ve interviewed these kids during the year but it gives us a chance to meet these guys and talk to them.”
After a week's worth of interviews with all 30 NHL teams, the prospects will undergo a grueling physical test on Saturday (we'll have full coverage here on edmontonoilers.com). Green was asked about the importance of the interviewing and the physical aspect.
“It’s all important. We want to watch them work out as well. We have people here doing that. And just get a sense of what kind of shape they’re in. What type of body they have. Their ability to put on weight and muscle and just to get a sense of how big they can be.”
Following draft week, the scouting staff will get together leading up to the June 24 draft and reassess their rankings.
“We’ll continue to stay in touch. We’ll take a look at this past week and we’ll talk about these guys and see what we like, what we didn’t like and see how it’s going to affect where we have them ranked.”
Green did add that what goes on at the Combine will be a factor but not necessarily the determining factor on which player the team takes.
“You’ve gotta be careful. You can’t put too much stock into this. It’s just another part of the bigger picture of watching them.”