Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 

Combine could be key for players who were injured

Tuesday, 05.29.2012 / 2:38 PM / News
By Mike Morreale  - NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Combine could be key for players who were injured
With so many top players for the 2012 NHL Draft missing significant time due to injuries this season, this week\'s Scouting Combine could take on even more importance than usual.

TORONTO -- Will the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine play a greater role than in past annual evaluation events considering the unusually high number of injuries to top draft-eligible talent this season?

It's very possible. But NHL Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan, who specializes in talent out of the Western Hockey League, believes it might really be as bad you might think.

"Injuries are calculated differently than they were 10 years ago, when there might have been as many but nobody knew they were really hurt [since the medical technology wasn't as advanced]," Sullivan told NHL.com. "Now, they're evaluated so deeply that if there's a slight cause for concern, you have to sit out. Ten years ago they'd play, so to say there are more injuries today than there were before, that's a tough one."

The Scouting Combine began Monday with the initial phase consisting of prospect interviews. Teams will meet with players at their choosing through Thursday, with medical and fitness testing scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 1-2, at Toronto International Centre. The top-ranked North American skater on Central Scouting's list, Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League, has 18 interviews scheduled through Thursday. He is scheduled for his fitness test on Friday at approximately 1:30 p.m. ET.

The injury bug certainly played havoc on the rosters for the 17th CHL/NHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game four months ago, as seven players had to be replaced for the game due to injury while an eighth -- London Knights defenseman Olli Maatta -- was suffering from the flu. Maatta also was sidelined early in the 2012 World Junior Championship for his native Finland after suffering a concussion.

Unfortunately, the ailments that kept many players out of the Top Prospects Game weren't the only maladies to hit this year's draft class.

A few of the notable injured performers at forward attending this week's Scouting Combine were Yakupov (concussion, back) and Alex Galchenyuk (ACL surgery) of Sarnia, Radek Faksa (concussion) of Kitchener, Mikhail Grigorenko (sprained ankle, shoulder) of Quebec, Martin Frk (concussion) of Halifax, Tanner Pearson (ankle) of Barrie, Jarrod Maidens (concussion) of Owen Sound, Zemgus Girgensons (hip and jaw) of Dubuque, Colton Sissons (concussion) of Kelowna and Thomas Wilson (MCL and broken knuckle) of Plymouth.

Besides Maatta, other defensemen missing time were Ryan Murray (high ankle sprain) of Everett, Cody Ceci (back) of Ottawa, Morgan Rielly (ACL surgery) of Moose Jaw, Slater Koekkoek (shoulder surgery) of Peterborough, defenseman Jake McCabe (severed tendon in finger) of the University of Wisconsin and Griffin Reinhart (knee) of Edmonton.

"Is there a concern with all the injuries we've been seeing … absolutely," Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "I think the other thing, though, is how much more the teams are paying attention to the health of the player nowadays. The mentality to just play the guys through injury isn't the right thing to do anymore. That might have been the mentality 20 years ago, but not anymore."

Central Scouting Director Dan Marr was asked if all the injuries to top-end players would have an effect come the 2012 NHL Draft next month, perhaps allowing teams drafting lower a better opportunity at nabbing a future star.

"I do think it's unusual to see season-ending injuries so early," Marr said. "Once that happens, you're not able to chart their development or their production and it's unfair to compare them to the players that are still in the lineup, and vice versa. It makes the process more difficult [for Central Scouting], but it's far more difficult for the teams that have to select players because they're going to have to go through the medical reports and rehab reports before they decide where they want to pick the player."

"I can only recall one other time in the last 15 years where this amount of top-end players were hurt in their draft year," Sullivan added. "It depends on doctors' evaluations on the severity of the injuries come draft time. Enough head scouts have seen these players. But it is interesting … could a top-end player fall to a better team?"

In 2010, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected forward Brett Connolly at No. 6 despite a nagging hip injury that limited him to only 16 games with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL in 2009-10. Connolly was No. 3 among North American skaters in Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters entering the draft.

"As long as the injuries are not career-threating, then it should not affect their draft status much," Edwards said. "It makes the NHL Combine medical more important. We have viewings on all these guys from summer camps, and the RDO Camp; however, this does not replace regular-season and playoff viewings for making a ranking list. The more you see guys play in their regular situation, the more you know about the player."

In addition to the aforementioned forwards and defensemen, Central Scouting's No. 1-ranked goalie in North America, Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League, battled ankle and groin issues this season. He was limited to 39 games but finished with a 2.50 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

"I don't think [the injuries] will affect where he's going to be drafted," Central Scouting's Al Jensen told NHL.com. "Goalies get groin injuries throughout their career. Maybe this will allow him to be aware with the nature of the style he plays. Malcolm plays such an athletic, quick style. He's very flexible, so when I hear groin, it surprised me. He makes unbelievable athletic saves. I don't believe this will effect where he gets drafted."

Marr feels that if the medical report shows no long-term damage, players are expected to take part in the fitness examinations at the Combine.

"Scouts want to see a player leave it all out there; give it your all and give it everything you've got," Marr said. "It goes toward your argument, if it's between Player A and B, and one player just battled through it and didn't quit, you remember those things. It's those types of intangible aspects that you get to see at the Combine and what could make a difference."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2014 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.