The scouting combine is underway in Toronto, featuring 119 of the top prospects eligible to be selected during June's NHL Entry Draft. While there, the players undergo a battery of physical tests and interviews with individual teams. It can be a nerve-wracking and gut-wrenching experience.
One prospect who wasn't showing any nerves was Sonny Milano, a Boston College commit who played for the US National Team Development Program last year. He is expected to be a high first-round pick after he put up 85 points in 58 games for the US National Under-18 Team, skating on the same line as projected 2015 top-two pick Jack Eichel. Milano's productive season puts him among the NTDP's top 10 scorers for a single year. That list includes NHLers Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Colin Wilson, just to name a few. Not bad company.
Milano is obviously known for his offensive prowess, from his high-end release on his shot to great on-ice vision to some supreme talent when handling the puck. The native of Massapequa, NY, showed just how skilled he can be when he performed a series of stick and puck tricks for NHL.com's cameras in some parking lot in Toronto. Oh yeah, he did all of this in sandals, too. No big deal.
Some of the moves are jaw-dropping as he juggles the puck expertly and shows that he can control the vulcanized rubber disc with either end of the stick. It doesn't even look like he's trying very hard. That's pretty impressive stuff from the 18-year-old.
Milano was ranked 16th by International Scouting Services in their latest ranking and was also slotted 16th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting Services in their final rankings.
He probably won't be pulling any of these moves off during a game, but teams will have to like what they see in Milano's quick hands.