(Story by: Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com)
Corpus Christi IceRays goaltender Anthony Stolarz begins the next step towards an NHL career this week as the North American Hockey League (NAHL) netminder is just one of 12 goalies and 105 players to be invited to the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine beginning this week in Toronto, Ontario.
The NHL Scouting Combine, which gives NHL clubs a chance to evaluate 105 of the top North American and European hockey prospects in the world, will be held May 28 through June 2. The NHL Draft is slated June 22-23 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The first day of the Combine should be a relatively slow one while players are interviewed by NHL teams. This event is a great appetizer for the draft, which is just over a month away.
"What the players have to keep in mind is that this will be their initial contact with many NHL teams, so they have the chance to make that initial impression," said NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr. "Some kids aren't that comfortable when they're in an interview environment so you just kind of have to tell them they need to be a little prepared to talk about themselves, which is something they might not be used to doing.
"But teams aren't testing your personality. They're just trying to get to know you in this environment, so it's just an opportunity to make a good initial impression."
The Scouting Combine will allow all 30 NHL clubs to interview as many prospects as they wish over a four-day period while reviewing medical reports by independent doctors from York University in Toronto. The players also will be put through a series of physical tests that will measure strength and endurance.
There are 13 individual tests designed to evaluate the strength and fitness of the prospects, administered by Dr. Norm Gledhill, a professor of kinesiology at York University. This will be the 19th year Gledhill has tested the athletes at the Combine. Each test is held at a separate station under the watchful eyes of several dozen of Gledhill's employees and graduate students from the York University Human Performance Lab.
The fitness testing portion of the Combine will be held June 1-2 at the Toronto International Centre.
Season tickets for the 15th year anniversary season of the IceRays are now on sale. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com.
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