Road to the Draft: NHL Combine

From May 29 to June 4, Mississauga Steelheads players Alexander Nylander, Michael McLeod, Nathan Bastian and Sean Day will be making the journey to Buffalo, NY for the 2016 NHL Combine. To celebrate these players and their accomplishments, every Thursday we will release an exclusive interview with each of them.

Last week we interviewed Steelheads’ defenceman Sean Day to find out how he was preparing himself for the combine. This week we sat down with Steelheads’ forward Nathan Bastian to ask what he’s been doing to prepare for the 2016 NHL Combine.

Q: Nathan, what have you been doing to prepare yourself for the combine?

A: “When it comes to preparing for the physical testing, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the gym. I’m there everyday with my trainer for a few hours. I’m focusing a lot on upper body strength by working on my chin ups and bench press. On top of that, I think that eating well and getting lots of sleep is a big thing. I’m just trying to do everything that I can to give myself the best chance to do well at the combine.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to?

A: “I think I will do well in the flexibility portion of the physical testing. I’ll get the chance to show everyone that, for a big guy, I can move pretty well. Aside from the physical part, I think the interviews will be a huge chance for me to present myself and talk to some teams. You know, it’s kind of weird because Michael, Alex, Sean and I have already been doing a lot of interviews all year, so it’s really just a chance to talk to some of the higher-ups in the organizations.”

Q: Have you been doing anything to prepare for the interviews?

A: “Yes, I’ve looked over some of the potential interview questions, and it’s mostly just about being confident. Like I said before, we’ve done interviews all year, so the best way to practice for them is to actually do them. Each one of these interviews is going to be different, so the more interviews I do, the better I get. I’ve gotten pretty confident during interviews. At the beginning of the year, the nerves were definitely there when I was taking to teams and guys, but that’s gone away now. I’m not overly nervous; I’m more excited to get the chance to do it.”

Q: Is there any part of the combine that you’re nervous for, or worried about?

A: “Honestly, I don’t think so. The only thing that I might be nervous for are the bike tests – the Wingate and VO2 max test. I’ve done a few practice runs at the gym with my trainer and I think by the end of my training, I’ll be used to it, or at least a lot more prepared for it.”

Q: There is no question how close you and Michael McLeod are, what is it like going through this whole process with one of your closest friends? What are you doing to help each other prepare?

A: “Combine related, we haven’t done too much preparation together since we don’t get the chance to workout together or anything like that. It’s mostly just supporting each other. If either of us is in contact with a team or have an interview coming up, we’ll call each other to talk about it, or to see how things went.”

We wish the best of luck to Nathan at the 2016 NHL Combine.

If you missed last weeks interview with Sean Day be sure to check it out here. Stay tuned for next weeks interview with Mississauga Steelheads forward, Michael McLeod, as he prepares for the combine.

Make sure to follow the Mississauga Steelheads on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with your favourite team.

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