CHL prospects shine at NHL Scouting Combine


With the 2017 NHL Draft on June 23-24 in Chicago, IL, fast approaching, top prospects from across the globe descended on Buffalo, NY, for the 2017 NHL Scouting Combine.

The event featured 104 players in total, with 52 CHL representatives on hand to put their best foot forward in one-on-one meetings with NHL clubs and the usual physical testing elements that measure a player’s athletic makeup.

Of the 52 CHL players participating, 22 came from the OHL and WHL while the remaining eight came from the QMJHL.

Several CHL players had standout performances in the testing, including a pair of Morgans. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Morgan Frost had a top-10 finish in six different exercises, claiming the top result in the Wingate Bike Test’s Mean Power Output. Tri-City Americans forward Morgan Geekie was also impressive, finishing in the top-10 seven different times.

Spokane Chiefs winger Kailer Yamamoto was another name that appeared prominently in testing results. The speedy flank finished in the top-10 six different times with four of those instances featuring top-two outcomes. Yamamoto’s day was headlined by a first place finish in the Aerobic Fitness VO2Max Testing.

Other CHL first place finishes included Nikita Popugaev of the Prince George Cougars (Grip Strength), Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads (Pull-Ups), Antoine Morand of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (Pull-Ups) and Stelio Mattheos of the Brandon Wheat Kings who was the only player with two first place finishes (Grip Strength, Wingate Fatigue Index).

The event, which was the third consecutive NHL Scouting Combine to be held at Buffalo’s HarborCenter, featured the oft-mentioned storyline of the Nolan vs. Nico first overall sweepstakes.

Brandon Wheat Kings centreman Nolan Patrick finished the season as NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater while Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads trailed close behind at number two.

“They’re both impressive young men when you talk to them,” Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr told “They’re both high-character, they’re going to be very low-maintenance type of players for a team. One or two here, if those are the guys, you’re getting some players that are going to be with your franchise for a long time.”

Beyond an unpredictable first overall pick, the entire first round of the 2017 NHL Draft looks to be much the same.

“This draft class did not sort themselves out for the scouts this year,” Marr continued. “I think a lot of teams are going to be quite pleased because there’s 31 different philosophies going into a draft. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re going to hear somebody say, ‘We got a guy we had ranked in our top 10,’ all the way through the draft.”

Here’s a complete look at how CHL players fared in the various testing exercises:


Right Hand
T-1. Nikita Popugaev (Prince George Cougars) 175
T-1. Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings) 175
T-2. Jonah Gadjovich (Owen Sound Attack) 159
3. Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 154
T-4. Morgan Geekie (Tri-City Americans) 149
T-5. Cale Fleury (Kootenay ICE) 145
T-5. Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting) 145
T-6. Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs) 144
T-6. Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets) 144

Left Hand
2. Jonah Gadjovich (Owen Sound Attack) 164
3. Nikita Popugaev (Prince George Cougars) 160
5. Zach Gallant (Peterborough Petes) 149
T-6. Morgan Geekie (Tri-City Americans) 145
T-6. Jacob Paquette (Kingston Frontenacs) 145
T-8. Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs) 140

T-2. Jake Leschyshyn (Regina Pats) 16
T-2. Josh Brook (Moose Jaw Warriors) 16
T-3. Antoine Morand (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) 15
T-3. Lane Zablocki (Red Deer Rebels) 15
T-3. Mason Shaw (Medicine Hat Tigers) 15
T-3. Jonah Gadjovich (Owen Sound Attack) 15
T-4. D’Artagnan Joly (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 14

2. Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders) 117.5
3. Morgan Geekie (Tri-City Americans) 114.5
4. Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 114.3
5. Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm) 113.5
7. Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks) 111.8
9. Maxime Comtois (Drummondville Voltigeurs) 109.5

3. Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 24.63
4. Morgan Geekie (Tri-City Americans) 24.4
6. Alex Formenton (London Knights) 23.63
7. Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders) 23.45
8. Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks) 22.84

T-1. Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads) 13
T-1. Antoine Morand (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) 13
T-2. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) 12
T-2. Zach Gallant (Peterborough Petes) 12
T-3. Morgan Geekie (Tri-City Americans) 11
T-3. Jonah Gadjovich (Owen Sound Attack) 11
T-3. Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos) 11
T-3. Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings) 11
T-3. Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s) 11


2. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) 4.38
3. Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans) 4.45
T-4. Morgan Geekie (Tri-City Americans) 4.46
5. Cal Foote (Kelowna Rockets) 4.5
T-7. Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm) 4.55

2. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) 4.2
T-4. Morgan Geekie (Tri-City Americans) 4.41
T-6. Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres) 4.46
T-6. Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters) 4.46
7. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Charlottetown Islanders) 4.48
8. Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals) 4.51

WINGATE TEST – Mean Power Output (watts/kg)
1. Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 12.8
T-4. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) 12.4
T-4. Jarret Tyszka (Seattle Thunderbirds) 12.4
T-5. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Charlottetown Islanders) 12.3
T-5. Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals) 12.3
T-6. Mason Shaw (Medicine Hat Tigers) 12.2
T-6. Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos) 12.2

WINGATE TEST – Peak Power Output (watts/kg)
3. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) 17.1
4. Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans) 16.9
T-5. Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals) 16.6
T-6. Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 16.4
7. Jonah Gadjovich (Owen Sound Attack) 16.3

WINGATE TEST – Fatigue Index
1. Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings) 22.8
2. Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires) 33.8

1. Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) 68.0
3. Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm) 64.0
T-4. Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 63.0
T-5. Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos) 62.0
T-6. Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack) 59.0
T-6. Josh Brook (Moose Jaw Warriors) 59.0

AEROBIC FITNESS – VO2max Test Duration
T-3. Cal Foote (Kelowna Rockets) 16:00
T-3. Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans) 16:00
4. Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans) 15:57
6. Zach Gallant (Peterborough Petes) 15:30
7. Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings) 15:25
8. Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack) 15:15

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