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The NHL combine, where teams go to be misled

June 2, 2018, 10:19 AM ET [85 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Today is combine day for NHL draft prospects. This is a day where they are expected to show off all of their non-hockey related skills in an effort to impress general managers and scouts from around the league.

How long can this player ride this bike until he pukes? How many pull ups can this player do? How high can they jump?! It’s all so overblown. Yes, being strong is advantageous. However, hockey is a dynamic sport and these kinds of tests are probably doing more harm than good for general managers. How many times do you think a general manager has been steered towards a bad decision because of the combine versus a good one? You have so many hours of video of these players actually playing hockey and I’m willing to bet some of these kids are being drafted due to their bench press.

Instead of wasting your time with long jump scores why don’t the teams invest in tracking zone entries/exits, possession, rate stats, and passing data. If you focused on those things and completely ignored the combine I’m willing to bet the teams that did that would be way better off.

The combine is a place that talks you out of drafting Casey Mittelstadt and into Lawson Crouse.

Thanks for reading!
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