In a precursor to the NHL entry draft later this month, Kelowna Rockets teammates Cal Foote and Kole Lind both gained some added exposure at the recent 2017 NHL Combine.
The Rockets duo was among 22 WHL players to undergo fitness testing and connect with NHL teams during the combine in Buffalo, N.Y.
“Overall I thought it was a really fun week,” said Lind. “They treated us unbelievably there. It was busy for sure with meetings all week and the fitness testing on the weekend. It was really good though, we got some free time as well to catch a baseball game among other thing.”
“It was an awesome week,” added Foote. “The first interview process was a little nerve-racking but as the week went on, it was very fun.”
NHL Central Scouting has Foote ranked 12th overall among North Americans skaters for the draft, while Lind is ranked 23rd.
All NHL Draft prospects go through a series of fitness tests as NHL scouts and management watch to make evaluations.
Foote ranked in the top 25 in five of the 14 tests. He ranked tied for third in aerobic fitness, 21st in aerobic fitness, seventh in agility and balance, Cal ranked seventh in agility and balance, 14th in both pro agility left and pro agility right and 12th in anthropometry.
“The testing went really well for me. I did good in some tests and poorly in others but overall, I’m happy with my scores,” Foote explained.
Lind ranked in the top 25 in four of the 14 fitness tests, including 16th in aerobic fitness, 14th in anaerobic fitness 21st on the list on the left hand grip, and tied for 10th on the list with the sixth best score for right hand grip.
“I definitely surprised myself a bit,” said Lind. “Obviously with only being out for three weeks I wasn’t able to prepare myself as well as some of the others. With trying to get a break, and then a week of skating I didn’t have a lot of time. It was really good though, I’m glad that I did well on those tests but I feel I can still improve my strength.”
NHL teams also has the opportunity to speak to and interview the players to get to know them on a personal level. Lind spoke to 27 teams over the week, which he says will be the memory that sticks with him the most.
“Meeting with all the teams would definitely be the most memorable part. I think this is a goal all of us have to play in the NHL, and it’s really special meeting with teams I dream to play for,” Lind said.
Foote also spoke to more than 20 teams, but for him making new friends was the highlight.
“My favourite memory from the week was meeting guys and making new friends throughout,” Foote said.
The next step is the NHL Entry Draft which goes June 23 and 24 in Chicago.