2018 NHL Draft Combine: Dynamic Power Leaderboard

Slowly disappearing are the days of ‘meathead’ tests devaluing the NHL Draft Combine. Whether by design or not, seemingly every year the brass is designing new ways of sharpening the testing methods. Maybe they have been working off of a clever long term plan to phase in and out tests in order to keep the ‘older guard’ comfortable in the evolving fitness landscape.

This year, they expanded the lower body dynamic power testing bracket. In addition to the Vertical Jump and Standing Long Jump, the category now also includes two other cuts of jumping: one with a squat and no arm swing pre-ceding the jump and another with hands on hips and lack of arm swing. Furthermore, they also moved the resistance style bench press to become more dynamic by measuring the velocity of the bar from chest pause to full arm extension. Because of this change, I will now include chest press in the dynamic power breakdown and give readers an idea of players with systemic explosiveness.

The Dynamic Power Leaderboard, or obviously their version of it, may well be the ‘river card’ that teams wait to see before going all in on a given prospect (anaerobic power testing can also be combined as they usually go hand in hand). It has been a fantastic pre-draft indicator to tipping off who may crack the first round (sometimes surprisingly). Look at last year alone for those who registered top ten placements in both jumps: #1 Josh Norris, #3 Morgan Frost, #6 Henri Jokiharju, and #7 Cale Makar.

With that in mind, here’s the 2018 Dynamic Power Leaderboard:

Rk Player St Long Jump Vert Jump Sq Jump No Arm Jump Bench Press COUNT SCORE
1 Liam Foudy 10 10 9 10 7 5 46
2 Martin Fehervary 7 8 10 9 6 5 40
3 Jack Gorniak 5 5 6 6 8 5 30
4 Nils Lundkvist 8 9 4 7 4 28
5 Gabriel Fortier 6 7 8 3 21
6 Jakub Lauko 2 4 5 5 4 16
7 K’Andre Miller 6 7 2 13
8 Eric Florchuk 8 4 2 12
9 Ty Emberson 2 1 9 3 12
10 Jacob Ingham 9 1 2 10
T10 Rasmus Kupari 10 1 10
12 Andrei Svechnikov 1 3 4 3 8
13 Kevin Bahl 5 1 5
T14 Oliver Rodrigue 4 1 4
T14 Oliver Wahlstrom 4 1 4
T16 Carter Robertson 3 1 3
T16 Barrett Hayton 3 1 3
T16 Riley Stotts 3 1 3
T16 Noah Dobson 1 2 2 3
T20 Jay O’Brien 2 1 2
T20 Jordan Harris 2 1 2
T22 Isac Lundestrom 1 1 1
T22 Mitchell Hoelscher 1 1 1

Learnings: 

*Liam Foudy (London, OHL) is about on par with a Josh Norris or Trent Frederic – anything is possible but I am not expecting him to make it out of the first round despite not being a consensus top 31 prospect.

*Nils Lundqvist (Luleå HF) = a faster rising, yet more seasoned Henri Jokiharju.

*After drooling over K’Andre Miller‘s (USA, USHL) pure athletic ability all year on ice, it’s interesting to see him place in only two of the four LB power cats. What I see there is a physical freak who has an insane kinetic chain and can channel his explosiveness throughout his entire body IE with using UB and swinging arms. My prediction: valued more than P-O Joseph was last year meaning probable top 20.

*Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie, OHL) showed up in the bottom portion of 3 of the 5 tests and I love it. Tells me he showed just enough physical prowess to let teams know he’s ready without intimating that he was overpowering OHL’ers en route to having his fantastic season.

*Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) has some hops…even if it was only popping up on radar for one test, it may give some team the cojones to select him high. This might suggest he has some growth potential on a somewhat down skating forecast.

*Lastly, Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) has no business being on any top ten combine list after playing an 87 game schedule with his last championship winning game happening on May 27th. Well done champ, you’re not getting out of the top ten on June 22nd.

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2018 NHL Draft Combine: Overall Leaderboard

As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA), DraftBuzz followers have seen the arc of my curious interpretation of NHL Draft Combine testing results over the last few years. Anecdotes during this time point to VERY strong, however selective, correlations between both draft risers and post draft climbers.

The combine is always an interestingly highly contentious part of the process – from fans to NHL personnel, you have those who are combine geeks, those who just care about interviews, and those who don’t care about it at all preferring to let the on-ice play speak for itself. However, you can’t argue the fact that the league has invested in it and employed smart professionals to push the envelope. Now more than ever, the NHL has taken the right steps to make the data/info gleaned more valuable, and it’s learnings should be gaining more value in the community.

With this in mind, here is an Overall Leaderboard to kick off providing some insight on the combine, the results, and what it all means (to come). The Overall Leaderboard is broken down by top ten placements. #1 in each category was assigned 10PTS, #2 assigned 9PTS, ETC. All players in ties were awarded the top amount in points. The value ensuing the tie took the amount of the overall position. ‘Count’ is how many categories each player registered a top ten finish.

RK PLAYER COUNT SCORE
1 Gabriel Fortier 10 68
2 Liam Foudy 7 60
3 Martin Fehervary 8 57
4 Jack Gorniak 8 48
5 Carter Robertson 6 40
6 K’Andre Miller 5 38
7 Xavier Bouchard 4 37
8 Curtis Douglas 4 36
9 Tyler Madden 4 31
10 Kevin Bahl 4 29
11 Nils Lundkvist 4 28
12 Kristian Reichel 3 27
13 Andrei Svechnikov 6 25
14 Cameron Hillis 3 23
15 Jay O’Brien 5 22
T16 Eric Florchuk 4 21
T16 Jakub Lauko 5 21
T16 Ty Emberson 4 21
19 Mattias Samuelsson 4 20
20 Jordan Harris 3 19
21 Adam Boqvist 2 18
22 Benoit-Olivier Groulx 2 16
T23 Jacob Ingham 4 15
T23 Alexander Khovanov 2 15
T23 Oskar Back 2 15
T26 Jack McBain 3 14
T26 Ryan McLeod 2 14
T28 Barrett Hayton 3 13
T28 Curtis Hall 2 13
T28 Jacob Bernard-Docker 2 13
31 Luke Henman 2 12
T32 Adam Ginning 3 11
T32 Matej Pekar 2 11
T32 Jacob Pivonka 2 11
T32 Evan Bouchard 2 11
T36 Ty Dellandrea 2 10
T36 Rasmus Kupari 1 10
T36 Joseph Veleno 1 10
T39 Stanislav Demin 1 9
T39 Oliver Rodrigue 3 9
T39 Aidan Dudas 1 9
T39 Joel Farabee 1 9
T39 Xavier Bernard 3 9
T44 Isac Lundestrom 3 8
T44 Jack Drury 2 8
T44 Oliver Wahlstrom 2 8
T44 Mitchell Hoelscher 2 8
T48 Brady Tkachuk 2 7
T48 Jonathan Gruden 2 7
T48 Ty Smith 1 7
T48 Nico Gross 1 7
T48 Seth Barton 1 7
T48 Blake McLaughlin 1 7
T54 Grigori Denisenko 1 6
T54 Riley Stotts 2 6
T54 Dominik Bokk 1 6
T54 Kevin Mandolese 1 6
T54 Patrick Giles 2 6
T54 Riley Sutter 1 6
T60 Noah Dobson 3 5
T60 Rasmus Dahlin 1 5
T62 Philipp Kurashev 1 4
T62 Michael Callahan 1 4
T62 Jakub Skarek 1 4
T65 Jonathan Tychonick 1 3
T65 Sampo Ranta 2 3
T65 Jett Woo 1 3
T68 Jared McIsaac 1 2
T68 Kody Clark 1 2
T68 Keegan Karki 1 2
T71 Milos Roman 1 1
T71 Tyler Weiss 1 1