Florchuk returns from combine ready for next chapter


While most 18-year-old kids are preparing for their high school graduation this month, NHL top prospect Eric Florchuk also has another event circled on his calendar in the month of June.

The 2018 NHL Entry Draft is scheduled for June 22nd and 23rd in Dallas, Texas, and Saskatoon Blades left-winger Eric Florchuk is among the top players expecting to hear their names called that weekend. Florchuk recently returned to his home in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, after participating in the 2018 NHL Draft Combine featuring 104 players from around the world. A rigorous week of physical strength and endurance testing mixed in with in-person interviews with NHL team executives.

“I really enjoyed the experience, it was neat to see all the guys; all the top prospects from around the world,” said Florchuk. Preparing for the combine wasn’t anything extra for Eric, saying he just stuck to his regular off-season regimen. “I’ve been keeping busy on the ice and the off the ice it’s been a lot of weight training,” adding that he’s put a strong focus on building more muscle mass to his 6’1″, 173lb, frame this summer.


Fitness has been something Florchuk has always naturally thrived in, so although he admitted some nerves heading into the combine he was also excited to showcase his physical attributes. Eric finished in the top 25 for seven different events, with four of those in the top 10. Ranking third in the squat jump with a total of 21.32 inches, Florchuk ranked seventh in the Fatigue Index and No Arm Jump. In five of the seven events Florchuk earned a spot in the top 25, he was also the top-ranked WHL prospect. On the Wingate Test, Florchuk ranked sixth in the Mean Power Output with a total of 16.1.

Staying in shape isn’t always long hours in the gym either. Florchuk will be entering his fourth season of competitive ball hockey this Summer. In addition to keeping his cardio up, Eric says he doesn’t really like taking a break from hockey so this gives him a competitive outlet during the off-season. In July, Florchuk will be travelling to Newfoundland to represent Canada at the World Junior Ball Hockey Championships. It will be his second time playing for Team Canada’s ball hockey squad.


The other aspect of the NHL Combine is the mental evaluation. Players sit down with NHL general managers and scouts so teams can get an idea of what each prospect is like between the ears. Florchuk met with approximately ten teams and while many prospects find the interviews intimidating, Eric enjoyed the conversations.

“For the most part the questions were pretty straight forward. The thing I liked most about the interviews was that I got feedback. Each team told me the things I need to improve on and it was almost the same thing from everyone. They want me to be more consistent; bring that wow factor every night while still playing a responsible 200 foot game.”

There’s no doubt the month of June will be a memorable one for the young Blades forward, but for now Florchuk is focused on school and training so he can enjoy what’s to come later in the month.

“It’s definitely been a challenge, transitioning back home. It has taken a little while to catch up on stuff I missed while I was away, and at the combine too. Finals are coming up at the end of the month so just making sure I’m ready and prepared for those,” explained Florchuk who will graduate from High School shortly after the NHL Entry Draft.

When asked if he thought his stock increased after the combine, Eric simply responded: “I’ll find out on draft day”



Here’s a complete look at how CHL players fared in the various testing exercises:


Right Hand
2. Curtis Douglas (Windsor Spitfires) 179
T-3. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 160
T-5. Ryan McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) 157
T-5. Xavier Bernard (Drummondville Voltigeurs) 157
T-8. Riley Stotts (Calgary Hitmen) 155

Left Hand
2. Curtis Douglas (Windsor Spitfires) 166
3. Ryan McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) 159
T-5. Riley Sutter (Everett Silvertips) 155
7. Philipp Kurashev (Quebec Remparts) 152
8. Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) 151
T-9. Jared McIsaac (Halifax Mooseheads) 150
T-9. Xavier Bernard (Drummondville Voltigeurs) 150

4. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 7.72
6. Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s) 7.3
T-7. Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) 7.25
10. Mitchell Hoelscher (Ottawa 67’s) 7.11

1. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 118.8
2. Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads) 115.0
T-7. Carter Robertson (Ottawa 67’s)
T-7. Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

1. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 27.65
5. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 23.82
9. Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads) 22.63

2. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 21.87
3. Eric Florchuk (Saskatoon Blades) 21.32
4. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 21.32
8. Riley Stotts (Calgary Hitmen) 19.71
10. Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) 18.65

1. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 27.81
3. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 20.92
7. Eric Florchuk (Saskatoon Blades) 20.42
8. Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) 20.13
9. Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) 19.67

T-2. Evan Bouchard (London Knights) 14
T-4. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 13
T-4. Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax Mooseheads) 13
T-4. Mitchell Hoelscher (Ottawa 67’s) 13


1. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 4.2
T-4. Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack) 4.3
T-6. Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads) 4.4
T-6. Xavier Bouchard (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 4.4
T-6. Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) 4.4

T-2. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 4.3
T-2. Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts) 4.3
T-5. Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack) 4.4
T-5. Xavier Bouchard (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 4.4
T-5. Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) 4.4

WINGATE TEST – Mean Power Output (watts/kg)
1. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 17.2
T-3. Kristian Reichel (Red Deer Rebels) 16.7
T-3. Alexander Khovanov (Moncton Wildcats) 16.7
6. Eric Florchuk (Saskatoon Blades) 16.1
7. Cam Hillis (Guelph Storm) 15.9
9. Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) 15.8
10. Kody Clark (Ottawa 67’s) 15.8

WINGATE TEST – Peak Power Output (watts/kg)
1. Liam Foudy (London Knights) 19.8
2. Kristian Reichel (Red Deer Rebels) 19.6
4. Alexander Khovanov (Moncton Wildcats) 19.1
5. Luke Henman (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) 19.1
6. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 19.0

WINGATE TEST – Fatigue Index
1. Joe Veleno (Drummondville Voltigeurs) 13.3
4. Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s) 17.1
8. Eric Florchuk (Saskatoon Blades) 18.3
9. Evan Bouchard (London Knights) 18.6
10. Milos Roman (Vancouver Giants) 18.9

1. Cam Hillis (Guelph Storm) 65.0
2. Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack) 63.0
3. Xavier Bouchard (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 62.0
5. Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds) 60.0
6. Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 59.0
T-7. Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs) 58.0

AEROBIC FITNESS – VO2max Test Duration
1. Xavier Bouchard (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) 16:45
2. Curtis Douglas (Windsor Spitfires) 16:35
4. Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s) 16:10

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