Road to the Draft: NHL Combine

The Steelheads are proud to announce that four of our players will be making their way to Buffalo, NY, from May 29 to June 4, for the 2016 NHL Combine. To celebrate these players and their accomplishments, every Thursday we will be releasing an exclusive interview with each of these players.

The NHL Combine gives players the opportunity to impress representatives from all 30 NHL teams through dry land exercises and an intensive interview process.

Our first interview features Steelheads’ Sean Day; the six-foot-three defenceman from Rochester, MI. Day, along with teammates Nathan Bastian, Michael McLeod and Alex Nylander, have been invited to the 2016 NHL Combine.

We caught up with Sean to ask how he was preparing himself for the combine.

Q: Sean, how have you been preparing yourself for the combine?

A: “I’ve started a lot of intense training. I mean from last year to this year, it’s really night and day. Everyday I’m on the ice working on my skating and doing a lot of the combine testing already with my trainer. A lot of it is focusing on the combine training rather than trying to get my strength up. I’ve been talking to agents, working on my nutrition and just working to be the best athlete. Also, with the training I want to prove that I can be that strong guy and I want to blow people away with the numbers I can put up.”

Q: What have you been doing to prepare yourself mentally?

A: “I’ve been going through online interviews with my agents and they have been setting me up with a lot of cool tools to get prepared. I’ve been doing a mock of the interview that I go through in the combine, just to prepare for some of the questions I’m going to get asked and how I might answer them.”

Q: What portion of the combine are you most looking forward to? Where do you think you’ll excel?

A: “I think the off ice testing portion is going to be huge for me, just because I have never trained like this before. I’ve always been pretty strong and big but I don’t think I’ve ever trained to be this strong, so I’m excited to see what kind of numbers I can put up. Also, I’ve never skated this much in the off-season either, so I think my development right now is way greater than last year or even the year before. I’m doing a lot more training, and eating a lot better, basically I’m learning how to be a pro.”

Q: Is there a portion of the combine that you’re nervous for?

A: “I think the interview is going to be the nerve wracking part. You know, growing up as a hockey player, you’re always performing for people, so the on-ice and off-ice testing is a piece of cake as long as you’re ready and prepared. The interview is next level with the NHL scouts and general managers. We get to talk to scouts throughout the year, but we never get to talk to a group of them and see what they’re thinking, or what they think about us. It’s a little bit different in that sense.”

Q: You and your close friend, Max Jones, are both going through the same evaluation process. How have you been helping each other in preparation for the combine?

A: “In the off season we train together and work together basically every day, and we are always there to support each other. I mean he’s ranked up around the top 15 for the draft, so just getting to train with him, and having grown up playing hockey with him is pretty cool. I know he’ll always have my back and when he’s asked about me, he’ll be positive towards me. I think there is one article that was put out where he was asked about me and he mentioned that I was going to be one of the biggest in the draft, and seeing that makes me want to prove that a lot more since its coming from him. So I think we back each other up and help each other out. We’re both really competitive in the gym and on the ice, so training together this summer will be huge for the both of us.”

Good luck to Sean at the 2016 NHL Combine!

Make sure to check-in next Thursday as we catch up with Steelheads forward Nathan Bastian as he prepares for the combine.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with your Mississauga Steelheads.

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