VIDEO: Top prospects at combine; Sam Bennett fails to do pull-up
The NHL Draft is just three weeks away so players took part in the annual combine. Their tests include pull-ups, which top prospect Sam Bennett was unable to do.
It gets nowhere near the same fanfare as the NFL's highly publicized version, but the top prospects for the upcoming NHL Draft are in Toronto this week taking part in the combine just outside Toronto.
Whereas the "glory" event at the NFL's version is the 40-yard dash (because we all know that players will run straight lines without gear all the time in football), the NHL's events are much less ballyhooed. While the NFL hopefuls sprint, the NHL hopefuls ride stationary bikes while hooked up to tubes like lab rats.
They do have a few components in common such as the standing jump and bench press. In the video above is Aaron Ekblad, the defenseman considered by many to be the top prospect in the draft and a player who seems most likely to go No. 1 overall whether it's to Florida or if the Panthers trade the pick.
Another discipline we see at the NHL's combine is the pull-up. You can see Ekblad doing a few pull-ups above but in the video of another potential top pick Sam Bennett's combine video, you don't see any pull-ups.
That's because Bennett was unable to do any pull-ups. As he told the Canadian Press, though, it's not the end of the world.
"I was definitely disappointed with myself," Bennett said. "I was wanting to do the best I can in every test. But, I guess, ultimately games aren't won or lost if you can do a pull-up in the gym."
Bennett likely won't take much of a hit from being 12 pull-ups behind the leaders. If anything, his showing could help whichever team takes him early in the first round June 27 in Philadelphia.
"The fact that he can play the game the way he plays the game, I think the teams feel that he's a pretty complete package," NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr said. "This is what the whole combine's about: The team that's going to get Sam Bennett knows what work lies ahead and they'll be able to put him on the proper path for development."
Credit where it's due, Bennett took it like a champ even if it was probably pretty embarassing. Good thing he won't be asked to do pull-ups on the ice.
Plus, it's important to remember that Bennett is still a kid, there's plenty of time to get that strength up and being put into an NHL regiment will only help the process. It will likely carry some weight but very little; if anything it just might tell teams that he might not be ready to step into the NHL right away.
The NHL Draft will be on June 24 in Philadelphia.
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