By DraftPro Staff

The 2024 NHL Scouting Combine took place last week at KeyBank Center and LECOM HarborCenter in Buffalo, NY. The combine is the time of the draft season that the top eligible prospects all congregate in one place, take turns interviewing with NHL team personnel as well as perform standardized physical testing and get team doctor medical assessments done. NHL teams can bring these prospects into their own facility after the combines completion for more assessment but this serves as another look at who they will be selecting in a few weeks’ time.

NHL teams listening to trade chatter.

The scouting combine also serves as a hot stove for NHL GM’s to let it known who they might be open to moving off their NHL rosters and what piece they might want to acquire via trade.

New Jersey general manager Tom Fitzgerald was all over telling media that he has an open line and is looking to improve his team. He was forthright in saying he is open to moving the #10 overall pick for an NHL team upgrade, specifically a goaltender or an upgrade at forward.

NHL names that were discussed in the public realm included Mitch Marner, Martin Necas, Jacob Markstrom, Linus Ullmark, Juuse Saros, John Gibson, Trevor Zegras, Nic Ehlers, Elias Pettersson, and Travis Konecny.

Specifically, Montreal has said they are looking to add another young NHL forward similar to what they have done the last couple of seasons around the draft. Chicago is said to be looking to add a young forward to play with Bedard. And Utah is said to be looking to make a play to add high-end NHL talent.

Scouts keeping their cards close to the vest.

The whole combine process has a bit of cloak and dagger to it with NHL teams interviewing some prospects they have little interest in selecting just to throw other teams off their scent. They also took some additional prospects out to dinner to camouflage the prospect they really have a heavy interest in. Really is hard to get a read on what teams are thinking from how they acted in Buffalo.

Prospects saying the right things.

The interview process is a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to gauging a prospects character and maturity level. NHL teams employ a psychiatrist to sit in and listen or in some cases even conduct the interviews themselves. From the 20-minutes they spend with the prospects they choose to meet with there are some interesting tidbits that filter out to the public. Like these questions proposed to the prospects such as the below.

“If you were in the military, would you rather be a sniper, a pilot or a medic?”

“What animal would you be on the ice and what animal they would be off the ice?”

“How would you describe the color blue?”

Physical testing a small but important ingredient.

The testing is a secondary evaluation point at the Combine as the real NHL interest is in getting the prospects into an interview which was done earlier in the week. The NHL strength and conditioning coaches use this time to evaluate potential issues and growth. Not much else is decided on the number of pullups a prospect can rattle off. Here is the results of the testing with the top five in each category listed.

Aerobic Fitness: Test Duration
F Cole Beaudoin – 13:45
D Gabriel Eliasson – 13:14
F Oliver Josephson – 13:05
F Herman Traff – 13:04
D Alfons Freij – 13:04

Aerobic Fitness: VO2max (ml/kg/min)
F Oliver Josephson – 65.0
F Tij Iginla – 65.0
F Simon Zether – 64.0
F Macklin Celebrini – 63.0
F Max Plante – 63.0

Agility & Balance: Pro Agility – Left (sec)
D Stian Solberg – 4.12
F Kamil Bednarik – 4.25
F John Mustard – 4.26
F Terik Parascak – 4.28
F Michael Hage – 4.29

Agility & Balance: Pro Agility – Right (sec)
D Stian Solberg – 4.08
F Jett Luchanko – 4.23
D EJ Emery – 4.23
F AJ Spellacy – 4.24
F Terik Parascak, F Sam O’Reilly – 4.25

Anaerobic Fitness (Wingate Test): Mean Power Output (watts/kg)
F Jett Luchanko – 12.9
D Alexis Bernier – 12.8
F Linus Eriksson – 12.7
D Sebastian Soini – 12.7
F Aatos Koivu – 12.6

Anaerobic Fitness (Wingate Test): Peak Power Output (watts/kg)
F AJ Spellacy – 18.3
F Maxim Massé – 18.1
F Linus Eriksson – 18.0
D Ben Danford – 18.0
F Michael Brandsegg-Nygård – 17.9

Anaerobic Fitness (Wingate Test): Fatigue Index
F Oliver Josephson – 35.1
F Ondrej Becher – 39.7
F Ryder Ritchie – 40.5
F Emil Hemming – 40.9
F Christian Humphreys – 41.6

Wing Span (inches)
F Dean Letourneau – 83.25
D Gabriel Eliasson – 81.00
D EJ Emery – 80.75
D Jesse Pulkkinen – 80.75
F Erik Mateiko – 80.25

Body Composition Yuhasz % Body Fat
D EJ Emery – 3.64
D Sam Dickinson – 3.64
F Ethan Procyszyn – 6.84
F Simon Zether – 7.11
G Mikhail Yegorov – 7.11

Force Plate: Vertical Jump (inches)
D EJ Emery – 27.23
F Jett Luchanko – 24.63
D Veeti Vaisanen – 24.22
D Will Skahan – 23.88
D Stian Solberg – 23.84

Force Plate: Squat Jump (inches)
F Jack Pridham – 19.52
F Aatos Koivu – 19.08
F Linus Eriksson – 18.96
D EJ Emery – 18.82
F Tij Iginla – 18.38

Force Plate: No Arm Jump (inches)
D EJ Emery – 23.57
D Veeti Vaisanen – 21.91
F Jack Pridham – 21.21
F Jett Luchanko – 21.11
F Linus Eriksson – 20.75

Musculoskeletal: Bench Press 50% Body Weight – Power (watts/kg)
F Cole Beaudoin – 8.71
D Lukas Fischer – 8.26
F John Mustard – 7.78
F Cayden Lindstrom – 7.69
D Sebastian Soini – 7.54

Musculoskeletal: Left Hand Grip (lbs)
F Jett Luchanko – 172
F Cayden Lindstrom – 168
F Erik Mateiko – 166
F Sacha Boisvert – 163
F Michael Brandsegg-Nygård – 160

Musculoskeletal: Right Hand Grip (lbs)
F Jett Luchanko – 175
F Cayden Lindstrom – 166
D Colton Roberts – 165
D Gabriel Eliasson – 162
F Jack Pridham – 162

Musculoskeletal: Pull-Ups Consecutive (max #)
D Zeev Buium – 16
D Lukas Fischer – 15
D Colton Roberts, F Jack Pridham, F Cole Beaudoin, F Oliver Josephson, F Tij Iginla – 13
F Kamil Bednarik, F Ethan Procyszyn, F Kevin He, F Tanner Howe, G Mikhail Yegorov, F Rilet Patterson, F AJ Spellacy, F Max Plante, D EJ Emery – 12

Musculoskeletal: Standing Long Jump (inches)
D EJ Emery – 123.0
F AJ Spellacy – 119.3
G Mikhail Yegorov – 115.8
F Jack Pridham, D Alexis Bernier, F Dean Letourneau – 114.5
F Linus Eriksson – 113.8

NHL teams give their final draft rankings a tweak.

The week also serves as a time for NHL scouting staffs to get together and give their draft boards a tweak three plus weeks before the big event. While this is not the last time a name can move up or down the board it is the last time any substantial changes are made.

2024 Eligible Prospects who stood out.

EJ Emery of the Under-18 US National Development Team, Stian Solberg of Vålerenga in Norway, A.J. Spellacy of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, Cole Beaudoin of the OHL’s OHL’s Barrie Colts, Lukas Fischer of the Sarnia Sting and Jett Luchanko of the OHL’s Guelph Storm were names that stood out in the physical testing with their athleticism and strength.


Get your hands on the comprehensive DraftPro 2024 Draft Guide now!

In the 2024 Draft Guide our team ranks the top 224 NHL Draft eligibles, provides well-written profiles on the top 224 names for this year, includes in-depth prospect features, looks at the NHL’s top 50 drafted prospects coming down the pipe, dives into what each NHL team has in the prospect cupboard and what their draft needs are, provides a comprehensive look at the 2025 NHL Draft with profiles on the top 32, provides a top 32 ranking on the 2026 NHL Draft with profiles on the top 10, and so much more.