“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

June 1, 2007

Dance Monkey! Dance!

It's that time of year again: the NHL is now holding its annual Draft Combine to test the physical and mental abilities of the young players eligible for this year's entry draft. Top prospects from North America and elsewhere have converged in Toronto to perform once more for the league's top scouts.

TSN.ca is keeping a diary, starting today. They also have a quick video report available on the site.

Some interesting tidbits so far:

--Jakub Voracek, a sure-fire first-rounder who weighs around 190, struggled to bench press 150 pounds. Looks like he won't be putting any brutal body checks on anybody soon.

--Stefan Legein, ranked 13th by NHL Central Scouting, won the fastest skater competition.

--And surprising to no one, defensive giant Alex Plante is dominating in the strength categories. He better, since he's 6-3 and 225 pounds. Maybe that will make up for his lousy skating.

--Finally, Akim Aliu may speak Russian---to everyone's surprise---but he's got the worst hair ever. Watch the video and see what I mean.

And speaking of prospects, NHL.com is running profiles of a few top prospects, including one yesterday of Tommy Cross, a young defenseman from Connecticut, who could be on the Avalanche radar come draft day. He's committed to playing for Boston College next year.

And if you just can't get enough of all this prime young man-meat, NHL.com has set up blogs for a number of the prospects expected to go high in the draft on June 22-23. Read along and enjoy as a bunch of hockey jocks struggle with the written word. Fun!

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