Saturday, 16 June 2012

Logan Nelson - Combine Experience

Logan Nelson ranks 73rd in upcoming NHL Draft
Andy Neal caught up with Victoria Royals Forward Logan Nelson following the NHL Scouting Combine.

Andy Writes:

Hopefully the 105 players that attended the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine have recovered from their rigorous physical tests and plenty of interviews while at the event at the end of May and into June. One of those players was Victoria Royals’ forward Logan Nelson of Rogers, Minnesota, who is ranked 73rd among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings, with teammate Steven Hodges at 85th. Nelson is back home in the summer, working at a sporting goods store, which usually has him busy after a morning work-out, as he prepares for his second season in the WHL for the Royals. Nelson finished tied for fourth in WHL rookie scoring with 62 points, 23 of which were goals.

In a phone call with Nelson earlier today, he said the first day of the combine saw him go through nine interviews with NHL teams, the second day was going through Bauer and Reebok hockey equipment and the final day was physical tests. Off the top of his head, Nelson said he spoke with the Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers and the Buffalo Sabres. The interviews were one after the other and he said he had hardly any time for a break. Nelson said the high ranked prospects, such as Nail Yakupov and Everett’s Ryan Murray, had over 20 interviews that they were requested to do. Most people get nervous for one job interview, let alone nine in one day, as what Nelson had to deal with.

The next day, Nelson and other prospects were met by representatives of Bauer and Reebok and were able to go over some their hockey equipment, like skates and sticks. Sounds like it was a fruitful day for the players, as they came away with some free new swag.

The following day is by far the most intriguing for those watching, and likely the most dreadful for those taking part. Logan said there is no amount of physical preparation that can possibly prepare you for the tests that players go through at the combine. Nelson said he scored average to above average in most of the tests and his best results were in the push-ups and long jump. When asked how many push-ups he did, Nelson thinks he managed 39, but was so exhausted that he lost count and just laid on the floor until he could muster the strength to get up. Chandler Stevenson of the Regina Pats recorded the most push-ups of the players that took part with 52 and Kenton Helgeson of the Calgary Hitmen had the third most with 46. The average was 30, so Nelson did pretty well if he pulled off 39.

The bike tests are quite the ordeal with the wind and VO2 tests. The wind test is just all out cycling for 30 seconds, with a 25-pound weight dropped on the front tire. The VO2 test is complex how it measures the amount of air you breathe and where your heart rate is at and is where the players have the tube coming out of them. Someone plugs their noses for 30 seconds during the test and by all accounts, is the least favourite thing to do for all involved.

But with the hard part over, now it’s a wait and see come draft day, or draft weekend in Pittsburgh, with round one on June 22 and the following six rounds the next day. Nelson will for now stay at home when the draft arrives, but he did say that if he knew for sure he’d be drafted and when, he would head to Pittsburgh. Logan is also very excited about returning to Victoria for the 2012-13 campaign and said he’s jealous of players that will be arriving in the BC Capital early prior to the start of training camp. Nelson is optimistic about next season for the Royals with a number of returning players coming back and the fact that the team began to feel like they were headed in the right direction on the ice at the end of the season.

The Royals are likely excited to see him back for next season, too.