The NHL combine has come and gone again for another year. Although most of the combine means little to me or the majority of the NHL staffers I spoke to (most prefer their own private workouts) the combine does allow teams to see many of the prospects in one spot.
For HockeyProspect.om, it’s a chance to chat with some players that we may
have missed during the season. It’s also a chance to see some players we may not see often and get a real sense of their height/weights. Sebastian Collberg and Morgan Rielly were two players who stood out in this regard. When I spoke to Collberg in Calgary at the World Jr’s he looked very small, both height and weight. His frame even looked small. Now it’s not like he is a giant all of the sudden but he has gained muscle and probably grown an inch. Sebastian asked me if I noticed that he had “bulked up”, I did. I noticed while he was on a bike. Rielly also stood out. He looked to be a legit 6’1”.I’m sure I saw his listed height back in September as 5’11”.
I was impressed with a few players I had not spoken to before. Patrick Sieloff was enjoyable to talk to. He is mature, well-spoken and honest. We chatted away from the media scrum area so it was informal. Just a good talk about hockey. We spoke about his season, how he sees himself as a player and next season with the Spitfires. I always like it when a player knows his game. Pat is that player. He knows his strengths and his limitations. He is very excited about playing in the OHL and can’t wait to play against his buddy (Ryan Hartman) in Plymouth. After talking to Patrick, I want to be there to see their first puck battle in the corner. I look forward to chatting with Patrick again in Pittsburgh.
Another player I had not spoken to before was Anthony Stolarz. We have Stolarz rated high as far as his skill between the pipes. I would rate him very high in interviews as well. Anthony was very honest about his game and was just soaking up the experience of being in Toronto for a week-long stay at the NHL combine. He was a kid that you would root for after speaking to him.
I also spoke to a few players that I have had numerous chats with prior to last weekend. Zemgus Girgensons and Brendan Gaunce would be in that category. Every time I speak to Zemgus I go away thinking that this kid is going to just keep working to be better. I wish I could honestly say that about more players, but I can’t. We have him rated high and I expect him to prove why for years to come. I think he truly wants to attend U of Vermont next season but would consider playing elsewhere if that is what he felt was best for his career. Gaunce is poised and polished when you speak to him. He was very honest about how difficult some of the testing was, and about his game this season.
Other players who impressed in my informal chats: DERRICK POULIOT, FILIP FORSBERG, PONTUS ABERG, THOMAS WILSON, TOMAS HERTL, TIM BOZON, MALCOLM SUBBAN, OSCAR DANSK, MIKKO VAINONEN and ROBERT BAILLARGEON.
Zemgus Girgensons – 2012 NHL Combine