Zadorov and Nurse excel at Top Prospects Hockey Combine

Halifax, NS – Players seized the chance to showcase their skills before Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in on and off-ice assessments by Sport Testing.  Demonstrating the potential that has brought them to the attention of NHL Central Scouting, players competed in tests of strength, speed, agility and hockey-specific performance.

The hockey combine, held yesterday at Halifax’s Metro Centre Arena, began with off-ice drills, where 185 lb., 6’3 defenseman, Darnell Nurse of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds notched top spot overall with powerful displays in the Broad Jump (9’3”), 4kg Med Ball Toss (19’11”), and also showed fast feet in the 5-10-5 Pro Agility (4.62 seconds).  Not far behind in the off-ice scores was Portland Winterhawks’ Seth Jones, recently tagged the top NHL prospect in NHL Central Scouting’s mid-season ranking.

On-ice testing challenged players in game fundamentals of skating and stick handling with a variety of tests demanding speed, agility, and control.  Sport Testing provided real-time results on the arena scoreboard, keeping scouts informed, and also driving up the competition level among players during testing. Skaters were clearly taking their opportunity seriously, driving through timing gates at top speed and raising the bar on each other in a variety of sprints, the reaction skating test, agility weave and transition test.

Nathan MacKinnon used home ice to show the speed he’s been using to menace defenders this season with the Halifax Mooseheads.  He covered 30 metres in just 3.918 seconds – and was even faster with the puck, at a blistering 3.893 seconds. Just 3 other skaters also clocked under four seconds: Nikita Zadorov of the London Knights, with Samuel Morin and Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic.  Zadorov’s speed and agility are particularly impressive given his 6’5”, 221 lb. frame.  He also topped the backwards skating sprint at just over 4.5 seconds, with and without the puck.

Nimble Nicolas Petan of the Portland Winterhawks, topped the Transition Agility test, which assesses an athlete’s agility and directional transitions between forwards and backwards skating. His time was 13.832 seconds. Gauthier and Justin Bailey of the Kitchener Rangers were the only two other skaters to break beat 14 seconds on this challenging test.  Max Domi of the London Knights, who scored third best overall in the on-ice testing, showed some character and creativity with a slick cheat around the Transition with puck test. And although that score didn’t stand, it drew smiles from Sport Testing staff and fellow athletes.

Goalies Zachary Fucale of the Mooseheads, Tristan Jarry of the Edmonton Oil Kings, Philippe Desrosiers of the Oceanic, and Spencer Martin of the Mississauga Steelheads all posted excellent times..  After their  testing, the goalies showed amazing stickhandling in an impromptu game of 2-on-2.

Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects hockey combine data has been provided to NHL Central Scouting.  It has also been sent to players through individualized online accounts where they can compare against other players and track their own progress through repeat testing.  Their scores also provide valuable benchmark information to scouts, coaches and players at all levels of hockey.  

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