The 2016 edition of the Pre Draft Combine came to a close on Sunday at roughly 2:00 in the afternoon with the conclusion of the All Star game.
One hundred and six players representing twenty seven different states, and eight different countries made their way to LC Walker Arena in Muskegon Michigan to be tested and display their ability on the ice to scouts from around North America.
Featuring a new partnership with Zybek Sports, the Pre Draft Combine kicked off with both off and on ice testing. The testing is unique in its design for not only what is measured, but how it is measured. Speed testing is simple and not indicative of the over all ability of the player, and Zybek Sports is taking it to the next level through Standard Athlete Testing (SAT).
Following testing every player participated in five highly competitive games. Nearly every game throughout the weekend was decided by a one or two goal differential. Teams were highly competitive, and equally balanced in order to show each player in his best light.
The most difficult part of the Combine was picking the All Star teams. With scouts submitting their choices for the All Star game through a blind voting system, nearly half of the participants could have been in the final game. Some players were given the position based on age in order to break the many “tied” votes.
Though an exhausting process, players and parents came away with great information having experienced great competition and testing.
Perhaps more important is what one scout said;
“There was not one player here that is not a legitimate College Hockey prospect. Taking age differences into account, this was by far the most complete group of young athletes I have seen in one location outside of the USHL Combine. Not a single player was on the ice that shouldn’t have been on the ice, every player clearly deserved to be there.” NCAA Division 1 Scout Hockey East
What did parents think?
“I was skeptical. I had questions, I had a lot of questions about junior and college hockey that I wanted answered. We have done a ton of camps and not one of them came close to this one. Every question I asked was answered. Every scout we spoke with gave us feedback. This was time and money well spent for my family.”
What did players think?
“I learned more here then I have at any other showcase.” AAA Midget Player
“This was the most fun I have had. I did a few other events last year and they were a total waste of time. Everyone here is a real player.” Canadian Junior Player
“These guys actually scouted me before I got here. They knew who I was, and what kind of player I was. They put me with some guys they thought would play well with me and it was the most fun I have ever had. This sure wasn’t like the other camps I have gone to and I am coming back next year no matter what.” All State High School Player
Once again we would like to thank those scouts attending from the NHL, NCAA, USHL, NAHL, NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL, GOJHL, BCHL, USPHL, NA3HL, WSHL, CPJHL, and various Midget AAA and Prep Schools. Sixty two scouts in total passed through the Pre Draft Combine over four days. Once again the Pre Draft Combine provided the best ratio of scouts to players in the industry.
Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks as the Pre Draft Combine looks to provide more opportunity for families and athletes throughout North America in 2017.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher