Many of the NHL’s top prospects for the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft will converge on Buffalo this week for the annual Scouting Combine, which makes its return after missing two years due to COVID-19. The Combine begins Monday, with one-on-one interviews scheduled between players and teams for the first few days. Players will also participate in health screenings/testings before the full fitness testings on Saturday.
All of the events are held at KeyBank Center and LECOM Harborcenter and are closed to the public. Keep an eye on Twitter, as I’ll be around to cover Saturday’s fitness testings. This will be my first time attending the Combine, and while I know it’s not exactly high-paced action, I'm excited for the chance to cover it.
A total of 96 players are expected to attend the Combine, giving NHL teams a chance to meet with prospective players face-to-face and learn more about their physical fitness. Among those in attendance will be top-ranked center Shane Wright, expected to be selected first-overall by the Montreal Canadiens, along with Slovakia’s Juraj Slafkovsky and USNTDP’s Logan Cooley.
The Combine wasn’t held in 2020 or 2021, but has otherwise been hosted in Buffalo since 2015. Players like Casey Mittelstadt (pictured above), Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin have all taken part.
A full list of 2022 participants hasn’t been made public yet, but the list is expected to include 63 forwards (24 of whom are international), 30 defensemen and three goalies.