The 2019 NHL combine continued in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, with physical fitness tests taking center stage.
A total of 103 draft-eligible players attended the combine, but Finland star Kaapo Kakko was among those to skip the event.
Full combine results can be viewed on the NHL's official website.
Projected No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes did make the trip, though he declined to do physical testing. The 18-year-old American told reporters that he had been too busy playing hockey in recent weeks to train for the event:
According to Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com, Hughes acknowledged that it would be a "dream come true" to be taken first overall. The New Jersey Devils own the top pick in this year's draft.
With Hughes and Kakko not participating in the drills, other players had the chance to stand out Saturday.
Notable measurements, via The Hockey Writers' official website:
- Jack Hughes N/A
- Bowen Byram: 6'0 3/4", 195 pounds
- Kirby Dach: 6'4", 198 pounds
- Dylan Cozens: 6'3 1/4" 183 pounds
- Cole Caufield: 5'7 1/4", 163 pounds
- Trevor Zegras: 6'0 1/4", 173 pounds
Defenseman Jayden Struble took full advantage of the opportunity. According to NHL Public Relations, the 17-year-old finished first in five of the 18 physical fitness tests:
Struble posted the top bench press (9.42 watts/kg), standing long jump (117.8 inches), right-handed grip (170 pounds), left-handed grip (160 pounds) and mean power output (11.7 watts/kg).
He is currently ranked 48th among prospects by NHL.com. His combine performance could have him moving up draft boards.
No. 2 on that list is defenseman Bowen Byram, who put on a show for teams:
His 13 consecutive pull-ups were tied for the ninth-most at the combine.
The 17-year-old made it clear that he is "confident" in his game, as he views himself as a two-way player:
Meanwhile, potential top-10 pick Trevor Zegras was put to the test as well:
The 18-year-old forward also told reporters that he believes his skating has improved:
Prospects will now have to wait until later this month to find out what the future holds. The 2019 NHL draft will be held on June 21-22.