By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the Moose Jaw Warriors
The National Hockey League held its annual scouting combine in Buffalo this past week. Nearly 125 of the top-ranked draft prospects of 2018 came out to the draft combine, as a means of evaluating peak performance abilities and physical talent.
Jett Woo (Moose Jaw Warriors), Calen Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes) and Riley Stotts (Swift Current Broncos) were Manitoba's three lone representatives - all coming from the Western Hockey League.
Woo - who is currently ranked 28th out of North American skaters by the NHL's Central Scouting Agency - put up a decent showing, finishing the weekend of testing with six top-25 finishes in the various fitness trials. As a defenceman, Woo's lateral movement was put on display as he finished ninth and 16th, respectively in the Pro Agility testing - an analysis of a playing running sideways.
Other highlights from Woo's combine include his performances in the aerobic fitness and various jumping tests, as well as his grip strength.
Stotts (Central Scouting's 51st ranked North American skater) and Woo came within half an inch of each other in the Force Plate Vertical Jump, finishing 18th and 21st in that heat, respectively, with an average vertical jump of roughly 21 inches. Stotts also excelled in the squat jump, finishing eighth of all competitors with a best jump of 19.71 inches.
Additionally, Stotts came in 12th place in the bench press activity, in which the players are tested on their power under a bar containing 50 percent of their body weight. Stotts also came in 15th and 10th in left and right hand grip testing.
Addison - the 30th ranked North American skater - managed 11-straight pull-ups, good enough for 19th place overall, his lone highlight from the combine.
Following the testing, the prospects went through thorough interviews with potential NHL suitors, and were prepped on draft information. Next up for these NHL Draft hopefuls is the entry draft, held on June 22nd and 23rd in Dallas, TX.