Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers
2010 NHL Draft

Fitness Testing Pushes Prospects To Their Limit

Friday, 05.28.2010 / 7:20 PM / 2010 NHL Draft
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Fitness Testing Pushes Prospects To Their Limit
Fitness testing at the NHL Combine supplies teams with a wealth of information on each prospect, some of whom become physically ill during the grueling process.

Author: Adam Kimelman | NHL.com Staff Writer 

TORONTO --
The first day of fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine saw some of the top prospects for the 2010 Entry Draft get pushed to their physical limits.

The players were put through their paces during an array of events that measured upper-body and lower-body strength, as well as endurance -- all while being watched and graded by strength and conditioning coaches, scouts and general managers from each of the NHL's 30 teams.

It can be an intimidating experience, but the players said they did their best to stay focused on the grueling task at hand.

"I just blocked out the people," Barrie Colts center Alexander Burmistrov told NHL.com. "I don't care. I just want do my work. It was really hard."

"It was (weird) at first," added Calgary Hitmen defenseman Matt MacKenzie, who had the honor of being the first player to enter the testing circuit. "Once you kind of block everyone out, you get through the first couple (of stations) and then you just focus on the workout."

Medicine Hat Tigers forward Emerson Etem said all the watchful eyes actually pushed him to work harder.

"It definitely pushed my limits a lot more," he said. "It was great to have that. It definitely pushed me, gave me a lot more energy, made me want to strive to go longer. And it did exactly that."

After taking basic body measurements of height, weight, wing span and body fat at the start of the circuit, the players had their grip strength and push/pull strength measured. Then there were push-ups and sit-ups done to a pace measured by a metronome, followed by a 150-pound bench press. After that was the sit-and-reach test to measure flexibility, followed by a standing long jump, a four-kilogram seated ball toss, a jump-time mat and a vertical leap. The players then tried to stay on a balance board for one minute, and then went through a hexagonal jump pad test to measure quick feet and overall agility.

After that came the two most famously tortuous parts of the Combine fitness testing -- the Wingate Cycle Ergometer, which measures a player's power output during a 30-second burst, and the VO2 Max test, which measures a player's endurance.

"It was a little hard to sleep last night, getting geared up for this," said Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin, NHL Central Scouting's No. 1-rated North American skater for this year's draft.

"Probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," added Prince George Cougars forward Brett Connolly, No. 3 on Central Scouting's list. "They kind of ease you into the bikes. The bikes were the toughest part. Once you hit the bikes it was game over. It was definitely hard and I'm happy it's over, for sure."

The Wingate test is geared to measure how much energy a player uses during an average NHL shift.

"If you've got somebody who is killing a penalty or someone who is trying to score a goal and you've got them on the ice for 30 seconds, what this tells us is what they have left at the end of 30 seconds," Dr. Norm Gledhill, Director of Human Performance Lab at York University, who supervises the fitness testing, told NHL.com.

"The Wingate is by far the hardest thing I've ever done," said Nobles School forward Kevin Hayes. "It's 30 seconds, and some people say it's 'only 30 seconds, it shouldn't be that bad,' but it's pretty bad."

The VO2 max measures a player's aerobic fitness.

"If the anaerobic (Wingate) is a shift, the VO2 max is a game," said Gledhill. "If they go into overtime, what do they have left? The higher the aerobic fitness, the better fitness over the duration of the game."

The bike tests leave the players drenched in sweat and gasping for air; some even become physically ill.

"I did (the bike tests) for fun last summer," said Seguin, "and that was the last time I threw up. This was the most recent time. It was very exhausting."

Seguin wasn't the only player to have that happen, so he shouldn't feel too bad. At least he can take comfort in the fact that he went through it and survived. A number of players going on the second day poked their head into the testing room to watch the proceedings. Anyone who didn't it certain to hear about it from friends who went on Friday.

"I'm going to my hotel room and tell my roommate (Curtis Hamilton) the horror stories," MacKenzie said. "Get him scared for tomorrow."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 63 22 16 -8 38
J. Huberdeau 60 9 27 4 36
J. Jokinen 62 6 28 0 34
A. Ekblad 63 10 23 8 33
B. Boyes 61 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 59 12 19 -9 31
J. Hayes 54 17 10 -5 27
B. Campbell 63 3 20 3 23
A. Barkov 52 10 12 -4 22
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 5 6 2 .891 2.98
 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.