NHL Draft Combine 2012: Dates, Start Times, TV Schedule and More

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2012

CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 5:  Nail Yakupov #10 of Team Russia waits for a face-off during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal game against Team Sweden at the Scotiabank Saddledome on January 5, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Team Sweden defeated Team Russia 1-0 in overtime.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The NHL combine provides teams with a chance to get a better look at the top prospects leading up to draft in late June. The event will take place in Toronto with the festivities beginning on May 28.

After the interviews, the fitness testing will begin on June 1 at 10 a.m. TSN will provide a live blog updating the action throughout the day and will air a special about the combine on Friday night to give fans a look at the highlights.

More than 100 players were invited to the combine, including almost all of the draft's biggest names, which should make for a competitive atmosphere as the prospects battle for draft position. For a full list of invitees, click here (NHL.com)

Let's take a look at all the key information for the event.


Where: International Centre in Toronto, Canada

When: Monday, May 28 through Saturday, June 2

Watch: Friday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN


Players to Watch

Filip Forsberg

One of the most talented European players in the draft, Forsberg has all the tools to become a top-line winger in the NHL. He has great size for a 17-year-old at 6'2'', but he will need to add some strength to reach his full potential.

Forsberg has terrific speed that he's put on display while playing for Leksands IF in Sweden. That's a more important attribute than ever with the NHL slowly shifting back toward defensive hockey. So a player who can create his own space becomes more valuable.

A strong showing in Toronto should allow him to secure his spot in the top three.


Nail Yakupov

Yakupov has more upside than any other player in the class. He had nine assists in seven games while playing for Russia in the U20 World Championships, and he has had two straight strong seasons for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL.

Just like Forsberg, he's got speed to burn and should continue to improve with more experience against elite competition. He's also one of the few prospects available that would be capable of making an immediate jump to the NHL without missing a beat.

It's safe to consider him the favorite to get selected first overall unless something drastic changes before draft day. The combine should back that up.


Mikhail Grigorenko

The 18-year-old Russian star features playmaking skills every team wants to see from a future No. 1 center. Grigorenko recorded 45 assists in 59 games for the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. He also scored 40 goals, illustrating his immense offensive talent.

His draft stock will also be helped by the lack of depth up the middle in the NHL right now, which means there's a boatload of teams hoping to land a player like him. Centers with his combination of hands and vision don't come along often.

He's fighting Alex Galchenyuk to become the first center off the board. Grigorenko can gain an edge if he lives up to the hype at the combine.