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Day 1 of the NHL Combine News and Notes

TSN was blogging the entire day of testing and here are some of the interesting notes:

Possible #1 selection and OHL leading scorer John Tavares did not do upper-body exercises at all, leading to speculation that he has an upper-body injury. He did do 46 sit-ups, which is one of the highest totals seen on the day. Tavares is fit but there’s obviously something going on – possibly a shoulder injury – as he did not do push-ups or the bench press.  Tavares did do cycling and is looking good.

Evander Kane (#3) had an excellent workout.  He had 17 bench presses, which ties the unofficial high for the day.  Kane also did 47 push-ups, which seems to be far and away the best so far.  In general, the 17-year-old looks like he’s in really good shape. Kane has lots of room to grow but was certainly ready for this judging by his workout.

Ryan Bourque (#49), son of NHL legend Ray, is relatively small but did a great job on the agility drills where players hop around a hexagon. He excelled during this exercise, doing better than most of his counterparts. Ryan is also the spitting image of his father, like a smaller version of his dad. 

No. 1-ranked European Victor Hedman is huge, measuring in at close to 6’6. Jared Cowen (#9 overall, according to NHL Central Scouting) is 6’5. Obviously both players have long limbs which enabled them to have good all-around workouts.
Photo: REUTERS/Mike Cassese

An interesting note on the day as a whole so far: there has not yet been anyone who has stood out dramatically. In 2008, Zach Bogosian and Colin Wilson both made a tremendous splash with their Combines. The 2009 edition is yet to see a complete standout performance that steals all the thunder and leaves everyone talking about it. There have been many decent performances but no one has been blown away by any individual just yet.

Jordan Schroeder, who is fifth-ranked and a likely lottery pick, interviewed with 23 NHL clubs in 24 hours.

For the complete blog report from the Combine, click here.