Prospects will be interviewed, take physical, medical tests during six-day period
The interviewing stage might be the most important part of the NHL Scouting Combine for any prospect looking to make an impression, NHL Central Scouting senior manager David Gregory said on the “NHL Draft Class” podcast.
The combine, scheduled May 30 through June 4 in Buffalo, gives the 32 NHL teams physical and medical assessments of the top prospects ahead of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre in Montreal on July 7-8.
“It’s a pretty intense week with what goes on and players know the protocol before and they prepare and everybody thinks, ‘Well, it’s got to be the testing they go through,'” Gregory said. “Well, really the testing is sort of getting a baseline for where the player needs to improve. But for me, the most important part is really the interview process.
“We’ve all been on job interviews and one interview is stressful. Some of these players are going through 28 job interviews in a four-day period so it can be very important to where they end up and what kind of impression they leave on a team. I really think the face-to-face interviews is the peak of the of the mountain here.”
Gregory also discussed how happy he and the staff are to be returning to the combine after a two-year hiatus. The event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re sort of rebooting ourselves and remembering how much we have to do to be prepared for this,” he said. “It’s a lot of people doing a lot of hard work but it’s great to get back to what we should be doing and providing what we can for all the NHL clubs and these young players to showcase themselves and the combine is a big part of that every year.”
Co-hosts Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale also talked about the importance of the combine while providing some historical context. They also reacted to Gregory’s thoughts on who he believes should be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft.
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