Just a day after the Shawinigan Cataractes were awarded the Memorial Cup, 105 talented draft eligibles were evaluated at the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine.
To many, the significance of the combine is slim to none. But some interesting storylines developed this week that will have an impact on the draft at the end of the month.
What is the deal with Mikhail Grigorenko's character concerns?
Much has been made in recent weeks about perceived character concerns surrounding Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Ramparts. The gifted playmaker is the most talented center prospect in the draft, but some scouts are concerned about his ability to go into the dirty areas and put in the work at the next level. While he didn't work out at the combine this week due to illness, Grigorenko participated in interviews and spoke with teams, which will be a particularly important part of the process for the Russian star. He has a real chance to be drafted No. 3 overall by the Montreal Canadiens.
Is Alex Galchenyuk healthy?
Alex Galchenyuk entered his draft-eligible season with his Sarnia Sting teammate Nail Yakupov as a heavy favorite to be a top ten pick. But back in October, Galchenyuk tore his ACL, derailing his season and sending his draft stock into flux. This week, all eyes were on Galchenyuk, as teams were hoping to ensure his health before investing a top ten draft pick in him. The Wisconsin-born forward put forth a solid effort in his workouts, but teams will leave it to their doctors for the final evaluation on his knee.
What will the Oilers do with the top pick?
Nail Yakupov has been the wire-to-wire favorite to be drafted first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. But not many people expected the Edmonton Oilers to be drafting first for the third consecutive season. With the selections of Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in consecutive years, some think Ryan Murray, the draft's top defensive prospect, makes the most sense for Edmonton. Rumors were flying this week that the Oilers are still uncertain about what they will do with the top pick, according to the Fourth Period. Passing on Yakupov would be a major organizational blunder. The team will either trade the pick or draft Yakupov. Any other scenario would throw a huge wrench into the top of the draft.
Is Cody Ceci ready to step in right away?
Cody Ceci was a steady riser throughout the 2011-12 season, and it appears he may crack the top ten, according to TSN. Scouts expect Ceci to be the type of player that can jump right into the NHL and contribute. It's not easy to do, but that type of quick transition will make him highly sought after on draft night.
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