NHL Combine 2012: Winners and Losers from the Toronto Workouts
Last week's 2012 NHL combine provided an opportunity for more than 100 of the world's best hockey prospects to advance their ranking for the 2012 NHL draft.
While many of the invitees were from Canada's three major junior leagues, others came from the United States, as well as Finland, Russia and Sweden.
Some players impressed in their fitness testing, while others did little to improve their draft stock.
Alex Galchenyuk: Winner
Galchenyuk (already a top-5 overall prospect) was impressive in the Peak Power Output test, finishing first overall with a mark of 15.6 watts/kg.
The test is done on a stationary bike, essentially measuring the power a player’s legs can produce. Since the muscles used for cycling power and skating power are mostly the same, this can be directly related to hockey.
Higher peak power on this test means faster skating ability.
Tyler Seguin’s mark on the test in 2010 was 15.4. Galchenyuk should have similar speed to Seguin, who was taken second overall by the Boston Bruins that summer.
Matia Marcantuoni: Winner
Marcantuoni is a forward currently projected to go in the second round, but improved his stock with a quality performance on the Peak Power Output test, tying for second behind Galchenyuk with a mark of 15.0 watts/kg.
Marcantuoni’s leg power was further displayed in the no-pause Vertical Jump test, where he rounded out the top 10 with a 28-inch leap.
Thomas Wilson: Winner
The 6’4”, 203 lb. forward was very impressive at the combine. Already expected to go in the first round, Wilson might have increased his stock with a display of great all-around athletic ability.
He was fourth in the Peak Power Output test and lasted 13:11 (fourth-longest) in the VO2 max test, where he recorded the eighth-highest VO2 max of all combine participants.
VO2 max, in the simplest of terms, indicates someone’s ability to do aerobic activity. A high VO2 max indicates a relationship to high endurance; these players are theoretically going to last longer during the game. Expect these players to have high ice time totals.
Wilson was third in the Vertek Leg Power (no pause, Lewis calculation) test, which could be related to good skating strength and balance for the huge forward.
Wilson also tied for fifth with 12 reps of a 150 lb bench press, sixth in pushups with 39, third in push strength and first in pull strength.
Chris Calnan: Winner
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The right-winger from Nobles High in Massachusetts finished in the top 10 of 15 different tests. Though he was projected to be a third-round pick before the combine, Calnan could certainly raise his stock with the great athletic ability he displayed.
He was first in Mean Power Output (while the Peak test measures top power, mean is the average power exerted during the test), fourth in Hand-Eye Coordination, ninth in Standing Long Jump, had the highest Vertical Jump (both pause and no-pause) of 32.5 inches, tied for the strongest left-hand grip and was fifth in pull strength.
Cristoval Nieves: Winner
This Kent High School (Connecticut) center was already a first-round prospect before the combine.
His impressive showing included a seventh-place Peak Power Output of 14.5, a top-10 body fat measurement of 7.6 percent and the second-most Bench Press reps of 150 lbs, with 15.
That combination of explosive leg power and upper-body strength could move him up a few spots in the draft.
Brendan Gaunce: Winner
This first-round prospect did nothing to harm his stock, as he placed top-10 in 12 different categories including a second-place finish in the Upper Body 4 kg Ball throw. From a seated position, Gaunce tossed a four-kilogram ball nearly 20 feet, at 235 inches.
Sebastian Collberg: Winner
Collberg showed good Peak Power Output, finishing ninth in that category. He was even better with a fourth-place finish in VO2 max. That combination could mean the prospect has the ability to skate fast and long.
Slater Koekkoek: Winner
Not surprisingly, the strong defenseman excelled in Peak Power Output (finished 10th) and Bench Press reps (tied for eighth).
Tomas Hertl: Winner
This center from the Czech Republic had the top VO2 max at the combine and finished third in the Hand-Eye Coordination test. Hertl is expected to be picked in the second round.
Matt Dumba: Winner
Most analysts agree that Dumba is one of the best two defensemen in this year’s draft class. He did nothing to change that at the combine. His VO2 max, Hand-Eye Coordination, Standing Long Jump, Vertical Jumps and Pushups performances were all top-10.
Michael Matheson: Winner
Matheson could find his way into the first round after doing well in this year’s combine. Matheson is in great shape with just 7.4 percent body fat, the fourth-lowest of the combine.
He had the longest Standing Long Jump at 119 inches, the fifth-strongest Left Hand Grip and the fifth-most Pushups (41).
Mike Winther: Winner
Though Winther is listed at just 5’11”, 170 lbs, he dominated the bench press, with 17 reps of 150 lbs. NHL notables Zack Kassian of Vancouver and Evander Kane of Winnipeg did 16 reps in 2009. Winther could go in the second round.
Morgan Rielly: Winner
Rielly is considered one of the top defensive prospects and showed up at the combine, finishing in the top 10 in seven different categories, including strong performances in the Bench Press (fourth), Right Hand Grip (first) and Left Hand Grip (third).
Nail Yakupov: Loser
No, Yakupov did not show up horribly out of shape or bomb his tests (he actually had the 10th-longest VO2 max test duration), but to put it simply, there’s nothing Yakupov could do to change the fact that he’s the 2012 NHL draft’s top prospect. If anything, this was a chance for those below him to close the gap.
Mikhail Grigorenko: Loser
Grigorenko is still recovering from mononucleosis, so he did not take part in the combine’s physical activities, but still showed up to the event.
Ryan Murray: Loser
Murray actually did not do bad; he had the second-longest VO2 Max Test Duration. But, he did vomit during his combine workouts. “Too much bacon this morning,” says the defenseman, who could go top-five overall.
Andrei Vasilevski: Loser
Vasilevski is the second-ranked goalie prospect being Malcolm Subban. Though the combine provided an opportunity to raise his stock, there is no indication that he did so.
Not only did Subban do better on goaltending-relevant tests, but he was in the top 10 on them.
Subban was fourth in the Vertek Leg Power (no pause, Lewis calculation) test, which would be relevant in measuring a goalie’s ability to push off his skate and move laterally across the net. Subban tied for second place in lowest ground time on the Jump (Mat) Mode test, which consists of a player jumping around a mat as fast as possible. The test can also be related to agility in net.
Subban’s wingspan is also 1.5 inches longer than Vasilevski’s, which is obviously important for someone who will need to cover as much area as possible in net.
Even more bad news for Vasilevski is that he was reportedly asked by many teams to explain his decision to pull himself out of a game at this year’s World Junior tournament.
Zemgus Girgensons: Loser
Though Girgensons is expected to go in the first round, he did not show up very well at the combine, failing to make the top 10 in any workout.
Mark Jankowski: Loser
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Jankowski finished in the top 10 in Mean Power Output and the body fat measurements, but not in any other categories. Jankowski currently ranks 14th on Craig Button of TSN’s prospect rankings, but he did little at the combine to show he belongs there.
Jason Sapunka prominently covers the 2012 NHL draft for Bleacher Report, with periodic prospect rankings and updated mock drafts. He is available on Twitter for updates, commentary and analysis on all hockey topics.