At the NHL Scouting Combine
Interviews, video, audio and more with plenty of prospects and Oilers management at the 2010 NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto
We are on location for edmontonoilers.com and will be covering the event completely as the players are put to the test Friday and Saturday for physical fitness testing at the Combine.
In total, we interviewed 30 players as chosen by you, the fans on the edmontonoilers.com Message Board.
Saturday is a much lighter day on the schedule with five groups going starting at 8:30 a.m. ET until 12:30 p.m. ET. We spoke to five players on Saturday. They were:
- Martin Marincin ( Audio w/translator)
- Troy Rutkowski ( Audio | Video)
- Kent Simpson ( Audio | Video)
- Dylan Mcilrath ( Audio | Video)
- Victor Ohman ( Audio | Video)
Swede Ludvig Rensfeldt topped Jeff Skinner in Curl-Ups with 40. Skinner had 38 to lead all day one participants.
(ALL TIMES MT)
|Russian forward Vladimir Tarasenko speaks with us.
GROUP 1 INTERVIEWS
- Video: Matt MacKenzie
- Video: Riley Sheahan
- Video: Vladimir Tarsenko
- Audio: Matt MacKenzie
- Audio: Riley Sheahan
- Audio: Vladimir Tarasenko
- More information on Group 1
Tarasenko was accompanied by a translator for his interview but he did very well on his own, answering nearly every question in English. He had an interesting answer when asked which player he compares himself to - Devils forward Zach Parise.
Tarasenko squashed any questions that he might stay in the KHL over playing in North America.
"Playing in the NHL is my dream," he said. "It doesn't matter if other guys want to stay in Russia. I want to play in the NHL."
Tarasenko had an amusing description of his style of game.
"I think I'm a team player. I control the puck good in traffic. Good play around the net. I pass but if I have a choice to pass or score goal, I score goal,"
Riley Sheahan came into the interview room wearing Brandon Gormley's #27 over top of his #141 to try and have a little fun with the media. He mentioned having spoken with the OIlers and said he would be honoured to be part of the organization.
|Tyler Seguin on his way into the testing at the Scouting Combine
GROUP 2 INTERVIEWS
- Video: Tyler Seguin
- Video: Kirill Kabanov
- Video: Brock Beukeboom
- Video: Alexander Burmistrov
- Video: Jack Campbell
- Video: Brandon Gormley
- Audio: Nick Bjugstad
- Audio: Brock Beukeboom
- Audio: Alexander Burmistrov
- Audio: Jack Campbell
- Audio: Brandon Gormley
- Audio: Tyler Seguin
- More information on Group 2
Seguin did 39 pushups at one of the stations for upper body which was more than any participant before him. Seguin measured in at 6'1" and 185 lbs.
Seguin felt his testing went well but that doesn't mean he had a good time.
"I did the test for 'fun' at the end of the summer last year. That was the last time I puked, before today."
Russian Alexander Burmistrov, who played this past season with the Barrie Colts of the OHL, looked a lot more filled out than the 6'0" 159 lbs that Central Scouting had him at prior to today. No word on his height/weight as of yet. Burmistrov is rated 11th in North America.
Kirill Kabanov cleared up any confusion about the fact that he was cut from the Russian U-18 team. The reason he was cut is because he was banned from Russian National Team play for three years (and KHL play for five years) as a result of coming over to play for Moncton (QMJHL).
"He said we don't need any Bubblegum Americans on this team," said Kabanov of the Russian head coach. He was also quick to apologize for abruptly leaving Moncton in the first round of the playoffs.
"They say smart people learn from other peoples' mistakes and stupid people learn from their own mistakes. I'm stupid people," he joked.
|Mark Pysyk is interviewed by edmontonoilers.com.
GROUP 3 INTERVIEWS
- Video: Mark Pysyk
- Video: Jordan Weal
- Video: Jon Merrill
- Video: Cam Fowler
- Audio: Mark Pysyk
- Audio: Jordan Weal
- Audio: Jonathon Merrill
- Audio: Cam Fowler
- More information on Group 3
"Not what I expected. You go down there to do sit-ups and there's 10 guys there staring at you, making sure you're working hard," he said. "I finished the wingate, 15 minute break
"I did, after the wingate. I was doing okay, I went over the garbage can just in case. There was already some in there and that put me over the edge," he laughed.
Pysyk had a good performance in many of the events. He was second in Peak Power Output at 15.4 watts/kg - tied with Seguin. He was also first in Mean Power Output at 11.7 watts/kg. Pysyk was first in hand-eye coordination at 35.5 seconds.
Cam Fowler had perhaps the most interesting story when asked what the toughest question he had during the interview process.
"The interviews are huge. Teams are looking for good people as well as good players," said Fowler. "Yesterday I was asked, 'if my hometown was invaded by North Korea and I had to leave a family member behind, who would it be?' I looked at them like 'Oh my God, I don't know what to say.' so I said that my Dad's a strong guy and would probably be okay on his own.
"I kind of got some blank stares and wide eyes after that. I didn't realize that I was supposed to leave myself behind," he laughed.
Jordan Weal may have his eye on getting selected by Edmonton since his junior linemate Jordan Eberle is already Oilers property. Weal was third in the WHL in scoring this past season with 102 points playing primarily on a line with Eberle.
"Me and Ebs we really work well together. We think the same and have a lot of the same attributes," said Weal. "It's been a really good two years and to play with him in the future would be a real treat."
|Taylor Hall is interviewed by tons of media at the Combine
GROUP 4 INTERVIEWS
- Video: Taylor Hall - Exclusive one-on-one
- Video: Taylor Hall media scrum
- Video: John McFarland
- Video: Nino Niederreiter
- Video: Nick Bjugstad
- Audio: Taylor Hall one-on-one exclusive
- Audio: Taylor Hall media scrum
- Audio: John McFarland
- Audio: Nino Niederreiter
- Audio: Nick Bjugstad
- More information on Group 4
"I got pretty banged up at the Memorial Cup. I played over 100 games this year and after talking to the doctors the said it would be a good idea not to participate," Hall said.
"It's not lingering stuff, just kind of painful right now. Rest is the biggest thing. Once I get some rest I'll be fine," he said.
"June 25 is going to be a pretty good experience for both of us. I'm getting pretty excited," Hall continued.
In a one-on-one with edmontonoilers.com shortly after his media availability, Hall talked about coming to Edmonton in a couple of weeks to meet the owner and management.
"It's going to be a lot of fun. I haven't been to Edmonton in awhile. We're going to Mr. Katz's house to have dinner there. Hopefully I can show well there as well," he said.
"That's probably the most exciting thing when I think about the Oilers," Hall remarked. "This team's got a lot of good prospects and a really exciting future. I'd love to be a part of that future."
Nick Bjugstad had an impressive showing, bench pressing 18.5 reps to be tops in that category.
After an up-and-down year, John McFarland came here to impress and he did just that. McFarland jumped 9.5 inches in the standing long jump which was the best by far over the past several years in that category.
|Finnish prospect Mikael Granlund addresses the media.
GROUP 5 INTERVIEWS
- Video: Mark Alt
- Video: Emerson Etem
- Video: Mikael Granlund
- Audio: Mark Alt
- Audio: Emerson Etem
- Audio: Mikael Granlund
- More information on Group 5
"Edmonton has a great up-and-coming organization. It would be an honour. They have a pretty historic background," said Etem.
Another interesting story is Mark Alt, whose father played for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mark himself was a star Quarterback on his high school team.
"My dad's obviously a good football guy with his background. All my life he's pushed me to be a football player," said Alt. "I told him I want to follow my dream (to be a hockey player) and after quite a few heated arguments he finally accepted and let me play."
Rated 84th by International Scouting Service, Alt could be a steal for a team in the later rounds as a massive (6'5") bruising defenceman.He will attend the University of Minnesota next season.
|Tyler Toffoli was Tyler Seguin's linemate a the Ivan Hlinka Tournament last summer as Canada won the Gold Medal.
GROUP 6 INTERVIEWS
- Video: Tyler Toffoli
- Video: Jarred Tinordi
- Audio: Tyler Toffoli
- Audio: Jarred Tinordi
- More information on Group 6
"I liked the guys in there," Tinordi said of his interview with Oilers management. "It felt like the questions went well and the interview went well so we'll see."
Noted by some to have the hardest shot in the draft among all prospects, Toffoli was modest when asked how he got such a great shot.
"When you're in the right spots and you score, people can see you have a good shot," he said.
Toffoli, along with John McFarland, skated alongside Tyler Seguin last summer in the Ivan Hlinka tournament as Canada won the Gold Medal. He was asked if having the notoriety of skating with the top-ranked pick could help his standing - with the Oilers or otherwise.
"Having success with a guy like Seguin could help me with Edmonton but it could also help me with any other team," Toffoli noted.
|Oil Kings netminder Cam Lanigan has shot up the charts.
GROUP 7 INTERVIEWS
- Video: Cam Lanigan
- Video: Calvin Pickard
- Audio: Cam Lanigan
- Audio: Calvin Pickard
- More information on Group 7
"I felt I had a good year and made some strides, got some consistency in my game," Lanigan remarked. He also talked about his fitness testing - his numbers were very strong in a number of categories.
"I got to practice the VO2 and the Wingate (a couple weeks ago) so I got a bit of a head start," he said.
Much like Oil Kings teammate Mark Pysyk, Lanigan had trouble keeping his lunch down following the rigorous workout.
"I did the same thing, too. Had a litte water come up in the Wingate and then in the VO2. Kind of cleared the tube on that one."
Lanigan did very well in the testing. He scored a 1.95 in the 4 Jump (Mat) Mode: Power Factor. The average was 1.00 and the next-closest prospect was Kevin Hayes at 1.69. He remarked that he patterned his game after Carey Price and Marc-Andre Fleury.
|Jeff Skinner had 50 goals in the OHL last season for Kitchener.
GROUP 8 INTERVIEWS
"I had 25 interviews throughout the week but no interviews really were too tough. All the guys were pretty nice to me. I guess I can thank them for being easy on me. No horror stories from me," said Skinner.
Skinner did nothing but impress this past season, scoring 50 goals and 90 points in 64 games with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. Drawing comparisons to Mike Richards, he upped his game even further in the playoffs where he scored 20 goals in 20 games through the Rangers' playoff run.
"You always like a Canadian city. That little bit extra - I don't want to say pressure - but hockey mentality," he said of the possibility of playing in Edmonton.
THURSDAY, MAY 27
On Thursday, Bob Stauffer flew into Toronto to help participate in a series of interviews. We spoke to some of the draft's top prospects - including top-ranked centre Tyler Seguin - plus Oilers head scout Stu MacGregor, GM Steve Tambellini, Director of Central Scouting EJ McGuire and more.
- Seguin on his development
- Seguin on the Combine
- Seguin on the Oilers
- GM Steve Tambellini on 1st overall
- Tambellini on the Combine
- Head Scout Stu MacGregor on the first pick
- MacGregor on the Combine
- EJ McGuire on Taylor vs. Tyler
- EJ McGuire on Defencemen
- Prospect interview: Brett Connolly
- Prospect interview: Ryan Johansen
- Prospect interview: Mark Pysyk
- Prospect interview: Erik Gudbranson
- Tyler Seguin
- Oilers GM Steve Tambellini
- Oilers head scout Stu MacGregor
- Director of Central Scouting, EJ McGuire
- Mark Pysyk
- Erik Gudbranson
- Brett Connolly
On Wednesday, Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall spoke to NHL.com and each gave their case for why the Oilers should pick them first overall in the draft this coming June 25.
- Article: Hall and Seguin campaign for top draft selection
- Tyler Seguin says why the Oilers should select him first overall in the draft
- Taylor Hall says why the Oilers should pick him
TUESDAY, MAY 25
Tuesday, Oilers head scout Stu MacGregor was on Inside Sports with Dan Tencer to talk in-depth about Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, the Scouting Combine and the interview process this week.