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2023 NHL Combine: Part One – Fitness Testing Overview & Results

Another NHL Combine has come and gone in Buffalo, NY this past week. For the 106 invited players, it was a week full of 1-on-1 interviews with NHL teams, interviews with the media, and a variety of fitness tests. The fitness testing results mean more to some NHL executives than they do to others, but nonetheless it is always fascinating to see who finished atop the leaderboards in the fitness testing categories. The Combine is also the final opportunity for players to submit their height and weight, which is always an intriguing progression to monitor. The NHL Combine is the perfect precursor to the NHL Draft. It is some of these player’s first times meeting their competitors on the draft board, and it allows for these players to meet their future management of the team that drafts them in Nashville in just a few weeks.


Nick Lardis of the Hamilton Bulldogs placed 1st in four categories: Vertical Jump, Squat Jump, No Arm Jump, & Pull Ups (15). This standout performance puts more eyes on the late riser, who arrived in Hamilton and tore it up through the second half of the season putting up 46 points in 33 games. Lardis has skyrocketed on many draft boards, including McKeen’s, as he finished 32nd overall and snuck his way into the tail end of the first round. He is a player that has certainly benefited from being the “go-to” player on the Bulldogs, and his success will hopefully lead into next season as the team moves to Brantford.

Another player from the OHL, Brad Gardiner also performed exceptionally well in the fitness tests. The two-way centre from the Ottawa 67’s finished in the top 10 in five of the categories completed on the weekend of the Combine, as well as in the Grip Strength test completed earlier in the week. Gardiner likely drew some more attention with this performance, as he was one of the later ranked players out of the 106 at the Combine (McKeen’s has Brad Gardiner ranked at 163rd).

Leading the results in the consensus “most difficult” category, the VO2 MAX, was Seattle Thunderbirds forward Nico Myatovic. In their media availability, nearly every player stated that the VO2 MAX was the hardest fitness test of them all. The VO2 MAX is a gruelling test of oxygen utilized during maximum effort. By winning in this category, Myatovic has likely gained some respect points from teams and players.

The tallest player at the Combine measured up at 6 '6.75”, and that was Czech goaltender Michael Hrabal. Hrabal is one of the top ranked goaltenders heading into the NHL Draft, and he was one of seven goalies invited to the Combine. Hrabal’s size is definitely a draw for some teams, as we see NHL goaltenders getting taller and taller each year.

Fitness Testing Results (excluding Functional Movement Screen & Grip Strength)

Top 10 from each category;
VO2 Max
  1. Nico Myatovic
  2. Brad Gardiner
  3. Bradly Nadeau
  4. Beckett Hendrickson
  5. Noel Nordh
  6. Easton Cowan
  7. Aram Minnetian
  8. Paul Fischer
  9. Axel Sandin Pellikka
  10. Hunter Brzustewicz
Wingate Test
  1. Noah Dower Nlsson
  2. Danny Nelson
  3. Tom Willander
  4. Hunter Brzustewicz
  5. Cameron Allen
  6. David Edstrom
  7. Brayden Yager
  8. Tanner Molendyk
  9. Samuel Honzek
  10. Jonathan Castagna
Pull Ups
  1. Nick Lardis- 15
  2. Danny Nelson- 14
  3. Bradly Nadeau- 14
  4. Cameron Allen- 14
  5. Connor Bedard- 14
  6. Brad Gardiner- 13
  7. Jaden Lipinski- 13
  8. Nate Danielson- 13
  9. Oliver Moore- 13
  10. Denver Barkey- 12
Pro Agility (Right)
  1. Easton Cowan
  2. Jonathan Castagna
  3. Brady Cleveland
  4. Samuel Honzek
  5. Scott Ratzlaff
  6. Brandon Svoboda
  7. Brad Gardiner
  8. Beau Akey
  9. Andrew Gibson
  10. Hunter Brzustewicz
Pro Agility (Left)
  1. Easton Cowan
  2. Jonathan Castagna
  3. Oliver Moore
  4. Brandon Svoboda
  5. Jayden Perron
  6. Brad Gardiner
  7. Ethan Gauthier
  8. Beau Akey
  9. Andrew Gibson
  10. Bradly Nadeau
Bench Press (50% of Body Weight)
  1. Axel Sandin Pellikka
  2. Charlie Stramel
  3. Mathieu Cataford
  4. Lukas Dragicevic
  5. Ryan Leonard
  6. Cameron Allen
  7. Jonathan Castagna
  8. Bradly Nadeau
  9. Brad Gardiner
  10. Nate Danielson
Standing Long Jump
  1. Charlie Stramel- 118”
  2. Samuel Honzek- 117.5”
  3. Cameron Allen- 117”
  4. Tom Willander- 116.5”
  5. Beau Akey- 116”
  6. Nick Lardis- 114.5”
  7. Maxim Strbak- 112.8”
  8. David Reinbacher- 112”
  9. Nate Danielson- 111.5”
  10. Jayden Perron- 111”
Vertical Jump
  1. Nick Lardis
  2. Cameron Allen
  3. Colby Barlow
  4. Caden Price
  5. Charlie Stramel
  6. Nate Danielson
  7. Jesse Nurmi
  8. Beau Akey
  9. Oliver Moore
  10. Ethan Gauthier
No Arm Jump
  1. Nick Lardis
  2. Oliver Moore
  3. Samuel Honzek
  4. Jesse Nurmi
  5. Colby Barlow
  6. Cameron Allen
  7. Jayden Perron
  8. Jonathan Castagna
  9. Nate Danielson
  10. Charlie Stramel
Squat Jump
  1. Nick Lardis
  2. Jesse Nurmi
  3. Colby Barlow
  4. Nate Danielson
  5. Jonathan Castagna
  6. Cameron Allen
  7. Tanner Molendyk
  8. Noah Dower Nilsson
  9. Oliver Moore
  10. Tom Willander

Heights & Weights

Name                    Height /Weight

Beau Akey                  6’0”/175

Cameron Allen            6’0”/192

Trey Augustine            6’1.25”/190

Denver Barkey            5’8.75”/155

Colby Barlow              6’0.5”/195

Connor Bedard           5’9.75”/185

Zach Benson               5’9.75”/170

Tristan Bertucci           6’1.75”/175

Carson Bjarnason       6’3.25”/190

Oliver Bonk                 6’1.5”/180

Gavin Brindley             5’8”/168

Hunter Brzustewicz     5’11.75”/190

Luca Cagnoni              5’9”/182

Jonathan Castagna     6’2.25” /195

Mathieu Cataford        5’11”/190

Alex Ciernik                 5’10.25”/174

Brady Cleveland         6’4.75”//210

Easton Cowan             5’10.5”/170

Andrew Cristall            5’9.5”/175

Nate Danielson           6’1.5”/186

Noah Dower Nilsson   5’11.75            “/185

Lukas Dragicevic        6’1”/194

Jakub Dvorak              6’5”/210

Dalibor Dvorsky          6’1”/200

David Edstrom            6’3”/185

Paul Fischer                6’1”/200

Drew Fortescue          6’1”/176

Adam Gajan                6’2.75”/180

Brad Gardiner             6’1”/184

Ethan Gauthier            5’11.5”/183

Andrew Gibson           6’2.75”/202

Terrell Goldsmith        6’4”/220

Kasper Halttunen        6’3.25”/215

Lenni Hameenaho      6’1”/185

Riley Heidt                  5’10.5”/180

Beckett Hendrickson   6’1.5”/174

Samuel Honzek          6’3.25”/195

Michael Hrabel            6’6.75”/215

Larry Keenan              6’3.25”/186

Jesse Kiiskinen           6’0.25”/190

Rasmus Kumpulainen 6’2.75”/190

Nick Lardis                  5’11”/168

Ryan Leonard             5’11.75            “/190

Kalan Lind                   6’0.5”/158

Theo Lindstein            6’0”/185

Jaden Lipinski             6’3.75”/210

Dylan MacKinnon        6’2”/190

Matteo Mann               6’5.5”/230

Gavin McCarthy          6’1.5”/186

Ethan Miedema           6’4”/208

Aram Minnetian           5’11”/195

Martin Misiak              6’1.5”/200

Tanner Molendyk         5’11”/181

Oscar Fisker Molgaard 5’11.75“/166

Oliver Moore               5’11”/195

Etienne Morin              6’0”/180

Carsen Musser           6’4”/212

Quentin Musty             6’1.5”/200

Nico Myatovic             6’2.5”/180

Sawyer Mynio             6’0.5”/163

Bradly  Nadeau           5’10.25”/160

Zach Nehring              6’2.75”/182

Danny  Nelson             6’3”/212

Felix Nilsson               6’0.5”/187

Noel Nordh                  6’1.5”/200

Jesse Nurmi                5’11”/168

Tyler Peddle                6’1”/204

Gabriel Perreault        5’10.75”/163

Jayden Perron            5’9”/166

Alex Pharand              6’2.5”/205

Emil Pieniniemi           6’2.25”/175

Luca Pinelli                 5’8.75”/167

Aaron Pionk                6’0.75”/173

Coulson Pitre              6’0.75”/170

Caden Price                6’0.5”/190

Scott Ratzlaff              6’0.5”/175

Carson Rehkopf          6’2.5”/195

David   Reinbacher      6’2.25”/194

Eduard Sale                6’1.75”/175

Axel Sandin-Pellikka   5’11”/180

Gracyn Sawchyn        5’10.75”/155

Zachary Schulz           6’1”/197

Jayson Shaugabay      5’9.25”/165

William Smith              5’11.75            “/180

Jakub Stancl               6’3”/202

Otto Stenberg             5’11”/185

Charlie Stramel            6’3”/222

Andrew Strathmann    5’10.75”/185

Maxim Strbak              6’1.25”/198

Aydar Suniev              6’1.5”/192

Brandon Svoboda       6’3.25”/209

Carey Terrance           6’0.25”/178

Jordan Tourigny          5’11.25”/165

Anton Wahlberg          6’3.25”/192

William Whitelaw        5’8.75”/175

Tom Willander             6’1”/180

Matthew Wood            6’4”/197

Brayden Yager            5’11”/170

Koehn  Ziemmer          6’0.25”/210