NHL Draft Combine Notes

Team McClanahan celebrates a second period goal by Seth Jones against Team Housley at the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo. - Bruce Bennett

Jones, Drouin, MacKinnon and Nurse skip physical testing

This is a big month for hockey fans and an important time for the Carolina Hurricanes which leads up to the NHL Entry Draft on June 30th. We will amp up our coverage and bring you a variety of information, including draft day coverage.

Last week the draft combine was held in Toronto and NHL.com had a running blog with some juicy tidbits. Let's review some of the highlights:

Valeri Nichushkin 100% ready for NHL

According to Mark Gandler, the Russian's agent, this player is more than ready to play in the NHL. The 6'4 youngster certainly does not seem short on confidence.

Asked how confident he is that he will play in the NHL in 2013-14, Nichushkin said, "100 percent sure."

Read the entire article at: NHL.com - Mike Morreale

Aleksander Barkov hoping to be in top seven

Barkov also feels that he is ready to play in the NHL next season even though he had shoulder surgery in April. The center had 48 points in 53 games in the top Finnish league last season and is used to playing against men.

"It helps very much," Barkov said of playing against professional competition. "In the NHL, you play against men and I have already played two years against men in Finland at a high level. Of course it's very tough to play in the NHL, but it helps me."

Read more here: NHL.com - Adam Kimelman

Darnell Nurse to have large cheering section at draft

Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb will join other aunts, uncles, and family members at the NHL Draft to watch nephew Darnell Nurse be selected.

"The draft will be a whole family affair, with my aunts and uncles, cousins and my parents," Nurse said at the NHL Scouting Combine. "And Uncle Donovan will be there and he can't wait. He's excited for it too."

The defenseman did not participate in the physical testing because he is recovering from surgery on his finger, but he moved up to be the fourth best skater in North America, according to the ISS. How high will he be drafted?

Read more at: NHL.com - Mike Morreale

Drouin, MacKinnon, and Jones skip physical testing

The top three rated players in the draft did not participate in the physical testing at the combine because they just got out of the Memorial Cup.

"We've been through a lot of hockey lately," Drouin said. "Just came back [from the Memorial Cup] four days ago. We didn't want to hurt each other. We didn't train a long time, no off-ice stuff. Just a little dangerous to do it."

The high scoring winger also feels he is ready for the NHL. Could he still be available at number five? Crazier things have happened on draft day.

Read more here: NHL.com - Adam Kimelman

Check out the top results at the combine here.

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