BUFFALO — Centers Shane Wright and Logan Cooley, both expected to finish in the top four in the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft, are happy that the testing phase of the 2022 NHL Scouting Combine is in the rearview mirror.
Everyone excelled in different areas of the test over the final two days of the combine, but the Wingate stationary bike test, which measured a skater’s explosiveness, was the most grueling of all on Saturday at HarborCenter.
“It was pretty tough,” Cooley said of the Wingate test. “I think it was tougher than the first bike test (VO2 max). I felt a little more tired afterwards… a little light-headed. But after a while I felt pretty good.”
Wright said: “It’s great to see where I am physically, but I’m definitely glad the Wingate is over. It was definitely a tough day, but overall it was a really good day.”
Wright (6ft, 191lbs), a right-handed center with Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston, was ranked #1 in NHL Central Scouting’s ranking of North American skaters who are draft all-season 2022 draft candidates and is the predicted top pick.
“To me, this isn’t so much a competition against other players as it is a competition in itself,” Wright said. “Everyone is at a different level of physical ability during the off-season, including how long they play and how long they’ve had an off-season.
“I think it’s mostly a test of yourself, a test of the kind of athlete you are and what you’ve achieved so far.
Wright was eighth in the OHL with 94 points (32 goals, 62 assists) in 63 games this season.
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The Montreal Canadiens have the #1 pick in the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft, taking place July 7-8 at the Bell Center in Montreal. The New Jersey Devils are #2 and the Arizona Coyotes are #3.
Cooley (5-10, 174), a left-handed center on the USA Hockey National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team, is ranked #2 in Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American skaters.
“I think you always want to have the best results, to be the best out there,” Cooley said. “You never want to be in second place or anything. I think you have to enjoy it too because it’s pretty fun to be in that moment.”
Cooley ranked second in the NTDP this season with 75 points (27 goals, 48 assists) in 51 games.
“Fortunately, I think the NTDP is doing a great job of preparing people for this,” he said. “We’ve had the opportunity to do some of that stuff over the last two years, so that really prepared me.”
Cooley finished with 12 pull-ups on nine for Wright. On the bench press, where each player lifts 50 percent of their bodyweight, Wright had 6.2 reps (100 pounds) versus 6.1 for Cooley (90 pounds).
“I think you focus on yourself during testing and just try to get the best out of yourself,” Cooley said. “I’m sure we’ll see everyone’s results later. Then you could watch it. When I was out there, I focused on my stuff.”
Cooley said he’s most comfortable doing the bench press.
“I was feeling pretty strong and moving the bar pretty well,” he said.
Wright said he found it motivating to have an athletic trainer shout words of encouragement on the Wingate as he pedaled as fast as possible on a stationary bike for 30 seconds.
“It pushes you,” he said. “He’s trying to squeeze every last bit of energy out of you. So he just wants to see you do your best. I think it definitely helped me.
“I think the first 10 to 15 seconds is ok and you feel pretty good and the last 10 seconds you really grind and fight your way through. That’s probably the hardest part of it.”
Wright said he feels best doing the standing long jump (107.8″).
“I think I could have done a few more pull-ups, but overall I felt pretty good,” he said.
Next on the agenda for Wright is a visit to the Devils. He was due to fly to New Jersey later on Saturday and meet with the team on Sunday. Cooley will travel to the University of Minnesota for orientation, where he will begin his freshman season in 2022-23.
WRIGHT TEST RESULTS
Standing long jump – 107.8″
Bench Press Reps (50 percent bodyweight) – 6.2
Pro Agility Test – Left: 4.5 seconds; Right: 4.6 seconds
Vertical Jump – 18.8″
Pull-ups – 9
VO2 max bike test (duration) – 13:00
Wingate bike test (peak performance) – 11.5
COOLEY TEST RESULTS
Standing long jump – 107.0″
Bench Press Reps (50 Percent Bodyweight) – 6.1
Pro Agility Test – Left: 4.6 seconds; Right: 4.9 seconds
Vertical Jump – 19.4″
Pull-ups – 12
VO2 max bike test (duration) – 14:20
Wingate bike test (peak performance) – 17.8
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