Some news and notes from a busy weekend a the NHL combine:
– The event gets bigger and better every year. There are still whispers about adding an on-ice element in the coming years, as the National Hockey League no longer permits teams to invite players on the combine list to skate under their watchful eyes.
– A few years back, teams would take their liberties with player interviews, stretching them out as long as they could so that other teams wouldn’t have the same access to certain players. The NHL now monitors the process, scheduling 20-minute blocks for each player the teams request to meet.
– If hair was a factor William Nylander would go first overall.
– In speaking to a good chunk of the players at the combine, my sense is both Anthony DeAngelo and Josh Ho-Sang were the two most grilled players during the interview process. Both admitted that the interviews were more important than the physical tests. When asked about his interviews, Ho-Sang respectfully declined to tell me which teams were most intense during the process.
– Overall, of all the results made available to the media, US U-18 standout Shane Gersich tested the best. Gersich finished top 10 in six of the 14 tests, and first in four of them including hand-eye.
– While Jake Virtanen could not participate in physical testing due to a shoulder surgery, he attended the combine for interviews and to cheer on his fellow Calgary Hitmen teammates Travis Sanheim and Ben Thomas.
Around the CHL
– There’s much more to new Victoriaville Head Coach Bruce Richardson’s resume than on first glance.
– As always, there’s nothing like looking at the trades from the QMJHL draft day.
– The Acadie-Bathurst Titan launched its new logo to little fanfare.
– Bob Woods is a good hire as the new coach and general manager in Saskatoon. Woods has his work cut out for him and he’s best served if left to do things his way.
– Swift Current will be sporting new jerseys next season.
– Seeing Eric Wellwood named as an assistant coach in Oshawa is bittersweet. Wellwood, just 24, looked to be on the verge of making it as a full-time NHL player when a gruesome cut to his foot turned out to be a career-ending injury.
(Note: Video contains footage of Eric’s gruesome scar)
– The openings that remain in Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver are fascinating to me. Three big markets with deep-pocketed owners.
– Check out Gare Joyce’s latest column: Scout says multiple offers made for top two picks in NHL Draft.