Sunday, June 8, 2008

Inside The Draft

As the NHL draft approaches, we're happy to have Regina Pats forward Jordan Eberle and Camrose Kodiaks forward Joe Colborne - both are expected to be first round picks this year - writing their thoughts about the upcoming festivities. Here's Jordan's first entry about the Combine, and below it is Joe Colborne's thoughts.

Hey it’s Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats here just to discuss my experiences at the NHL combine. I flew up on the Tuesday morning and arrived around 6 due to the time change. I found it pretty easy to find my way around the airport and to the hotel just because I had fellow hockey players Michael Stone and Eric Mestery to follow. Once I arrived at my room I found out I was paired up with my teammate Matt Delahey which made it a lot easier on the experience. We went and grabbed a bite to eat and headed right off to bed.

On the Wednesday I woke up bright and early eager to start my interviews. The first of 13 on the day was the Edmonton Oilers. It went very well and seemed to boost my confidence as I went into the rest of the interviews. As the day went on I knew what to expect in most of the interviews as the teams where mainly looking to see what kind of person you are and what your family is like. Although most interviews were similar some teams asked unexpected questions, the worst probably being “do I wear boxers or briefs?” This kind of caught me off guard but I seemed to manage through it with a laugh. Finally I finished off my last interview of the day, grabbed a bite to eat and raced to the gym to get a quick bike in before getting some shut eye.

As Thursday came around I wasn’t as nervous mainly because I only had 9 interviews and I knew what to expect. They seemed to all go well and as the afternoon came I was scheduled to be picked up and driven to the Newport Sports Agency to tour their office. It was an amazing place and getting the chance to meet Donnie Meehan was pretty cool too. After all that I went back to my room to hang out with fellow U18 Team Canada buddies and talk about our experiences.

Friday was the day for the testing. Coming into the combine this part scared me the most. I tested at 2:30 in the afternoon which gave me more than enough time to worry about it. That time slot soon came and as I quickly finished the medical part of the testing I walked into the testing room to see all the scouts, GM’s and media standing around waiting to examine us. The test that I was most worried about was the bench press but after doing it I seemed to do better than I thought. After all the physical strength testing it was soon off to the bike tests. The Wingate was only 30 seconds but seemed like forever and after you were done you felt like passing out. I soon recovered though in the 30 minute recovery period you were given and was jumping on the bike to get ready for the VO2. In this test you biked as they increased the tension over time, measuring how much oxygen you can intake. I nearly threw up into the air pipe but biked for about 14 minutes which seemed to be pretty good. After all the testing was done I had no time to recover as I raced up to my room packed and headed to the airport to come home.

Overall it was a great experience meeting all the teams and all the top prospects of this year’s draft. It was also nice to see some friends from different teams played against or with and meet up with them again. Although after all is said and done I looked back and couldn’t believe it flew by so quick. I am now just excited about the draft.

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