Chilliwack Chiefs defenceman Dennis Cholowski is being put through the paces this week as he participates in the National Hockey League’s Scouting Combine.
Cholowski’s in Buffalo along with two other BCHLers from the Penticton Vees, Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro.
The combine testing includes physical and mental components.
The physical testing – such as VO2 max, vertical jump, bench press, pull-ups, agility, standing long jump and grip strength – is only part of it. Players will also be sized up for wingspan, body mass and percentage of body fat.
Then there are the interviews. Top prospects may meet with every NHL team, meaning 30 sit-downs across the table from the team’s top scouts and management. Questions can vary from the straightforward types on a player’s strengths and weaknesses to more challenging, such as what coaches and teammates would say about the player if they were asked.
Some can be quirky (example: how often do you shave?) just to see how the player reacts.
Fabbro, Cholowski and Jost – should they each be selected in the first round – would be the first threesome of BCHLers to go in the first round of the same draft.
In 2004, Travis Zajac and Kris Chucko from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks were drafted 20th and 24th overall by New Jersey and Calgary respectively.
In 2007, Kyle Turris of the Burnaby Express went third overall to the then-Phoenix Coyotes and Riley Nash of the Silverbacks went 21st overall to the Edmonton Oilers.
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will be held back in Buffalo, June 24-25 at First Niagara Center.