It's that time of year when some of the most talented and accomplished junior hockey players in the world gather for team interviews, feats of strength and
Festivus miracles meetings with the media. And because this is sports, the NHL Draft Combine must have winners and losers. (It's like, the law or something.)
Sportsnet's Gare Joyce has done the sums on the out-of-context information that can shape a hardcore fan's opinions of these prospects for the rest of their lives and careers. With the usual caveats, he provides nuggets like these about the anaerobic peak power test:
...Mississauga's Alexander Nylander absolutely blew away the field on this count. His number (21.7) was well ahead of USNDT's William Lockwood's second-place 19.3. and a long way above the average reading of 15.7.
The next best eight of the 99 prospects tested were at 18.0 or fractionally better but it's interesting that there are three top names in that number: Cape Breton's Pierre-Luc Dubois (tied for fourth overall at 18.6), projected first overall and Leafs saviour Auston Matthews (ninth overall at 18.1) and Sarnia's Jakob Chychrun (10th at 18 flat).
That elite kids tested so high here tells you something not only about them but also the usefulness of this test in predicting success. Those in the 90th percentile in explosive power here are a lot more likely than the hindmost in having success on the ice. And as noted on the weekend, Vancouver's Ty Ronning was one of the better athletes among all tested and on the Wingate it held true — his 18.4 was sixth best in the field.
And here are some observations on the pro agility test:
Saint John blue-liner Luke Green was by a comfortable margin the best performer in the field — first (by more than a tenth of a second) and second (by .01) in the right and left splits. Sarnia's Jordan Kyrou and Dubois also stood out in the agility testing.
The floor-touch drill is supposed to be a good indicator of the prospects' athleticism and ability to change direction but then again last year Connor McDavid hit the wall on Corner Three on this test so read into it what you will.
Read it all at the link. [Sportsnet]
ALERT ALERT THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Tyler Seguin is back on the ice and training. [SportsDayDFW]
Daryl "Razor" Reaugh has a vision for the future of NHL broadcasting, and it involves a pair of VR goggles. [Razor With an Edge]
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh City Council is feeling so confident about tomorrow night that they've renamed a city street Matt Murray Avenue.
There will now be a Matt Murray Avenue in Pittsburgh — at least for one day https://t.co/yFdr9mNMvV— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 7, 2016
The Cup itself will be ready for its close-up starting tomorrow night, so naturally a fan's thoughts turn to the glorious ritual of the handoff. Sean McIndoe's certainly did – he actually reviewed them all to rank this list of the best. You probably can guess what's at No. 1, but find out where the Stars land.
Speaking of Florida: Did you go blah or ahh! over the Panthers' new uniforms? Pat Iversen stacks them up against every other NHL branding change over the past six years and ranks them. C'mon, everybody loves rankings, right? [SB Nation]
As the world remembers the late Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky recalls the story of how the Great One and the Greatest met. [NBC Sports]
Finally: Yesterday was Mike Modano's 46th birthday. Share and enjoy.