Florchuk looking to impress at NHL draft combine
Saskatoon, SK – The 2018 edition of the National Hockey League’s draft combine began Monday morning at the KeyBank Center and HarborCenter in Buffalo, NY. The six day event will feature 104 draft-eligible prospects, including Blades forward Eric Florchuk, for the upcoming 2018 NHL Entry Draft which takes place in Dallas, Texas.
Eric Florchuk is one of 60 forwards attending the combine along with 37 defensemen, and 7 goaltenders. The Fort Saskatchewan native hovered in and out of the top 100 North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting ranking list before landing at 110th at seasons end. However, The Hockey News had Florchuk ranked 74th among all draft-elgible players. Rankings aside, Florchuk just hopes to get a chance to prove himself.
“That (110th ranking) is just a number, that’s more based on an overall and I’m not overly worried about it but I mean any team who picks me should be grateful that they did and I hope to prove that,” said the left winger.
Florchuk is coming off a strong sophomore season in which the Blades acquired him at the trade deadline from the Victoria Royals. In 71 games split between the Blades and Royals, Florchuk scored 16 goals and 50 points while keeping a +11 rating.
For the next week Eric will be pushed to his physical limits at the combine. Conditioning tests include the dreaded wingate which sees players pedal a stationary bicycle as fast as they can for 45 seconds. A test similar in difficulty is the VO2 where players are asked to maintain a specific revolutions-per-minute (RPM) level as resistance is added. Then of course there’s pull-ups, bench press, standing long jump, grip strength and other drills that measure balance and movement skills.
Scouts and management staff from all 31 NHL clubs will also get a chance to meet prospects and conduct in-person interviews. Teams will be able to interview players Monday through Friday, and medical exams will take place Thursday. The majority of the physical fitness tests will be held Saturday.
The NHL Entry Draft will take place on June 22nd and 23rd where fellow 17-year-old Saskatoon Blades forward, Chase Wouters, is also expected to be drafted.