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NHL Prospects Show Their Stuff At NHL Scouting Combine

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For many young hopefuls, the road to the NHL begins with the draft.

But before any of these players slip on their first NHL sweater, they must endure the rigours of the NHL draft combine.

Scouts and general managers representing the 30 NHL clubs are putting the gears to the 100 best draft-eligible players from both sides of the pond to see where they excel and where potential weaknesses may arise.

The elite of this year's draft class are being put through the motions including push-ups, sit-ups, bench press, rigorous cardio exercises as well as personal interviews that help teams prioritize who best fits their organization on the draft floor.

For some teams a player's mental readiness for the big leagues can eclipse even the most impressive physical performance. These decisions are often informed by what teams see from draft hopefuls at the combine.

TSN gives fans an inside look at the 2011 NHL Draft Combine during its one-hour special, the NHL Scouting Combine, tonight at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. The original TSN production puts fans shoulder-to-shoulder with NHL executives as they watch the best draft-eligible players from North America and Europe go through intense physical, medical and psychological testing in final preparation for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

NHL On TSN's Gord Miller hosts the network's NHL Scouting Combine special from inside the event at the Toronto Congress Centre, alongside Hockey Insider and draft expert Bob McKenzie, former NHL executive Craig Button, and fitness expert and strength coach Matt Nichol.

Featuring interviews with players and general managers, the NHL Scouting Combine special also delivers in-depth analysis of this year's top-rated prospects including centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels, defenceman Adam Larsson of Skelleftea, left-winger Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers, and centre Jonathan Huberdeau of the Memorial Cup champion Saint John Sea Dogs.

For some clubs, the decision as to which of these prospects they select will be determined on the floor of the combine.

TSN.ca is keeping tabs on all the action with a live blog (underway now) from the combine and also features the latest draft news and rankings at TSN.ca/DraftCentre. Canada's industry-leading sports website also has exclusive video content direct from the combine floor all day long, including interviews with the top prospects and analysis from McKenzie, Button and TSN fantasy hockey guru Scott Cullen.

See which players elevate their draft stock and turn heads as general managers try to separate the cream from the crop. In years past, names like Zach Bogosian, Colin Wilson and Tyler Myers have elevated their stock with big performances at the combine while players like Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin have impressed teams with their mental fortitude and readiness for NHL action.

Every sit-up, vertical leap and calculated response will pave the way for these players to make the transition from draft hopefuls to NHL prospects and, eventually, to NHL players.

TSN has exclusive coverage of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft on Friday, June 24 at 7pm et/4pm pt live from Minnesota.


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