June 3, 2013 by conteconfidential
Four future Boston College hockey players attended the NHL scouting combine from May 25 to May 30. All ranked in the top 100 on Central Scouting’s Final Rankings, Ian McCoshen (24), Steven Santini (47), Ryan Fitzgerald (56) and Zach Sanford (60) are expected to go in the first four rounds of the upcoming draft. McCoshen, Santini and Sanford talked to Conte Confidential about their experience at the combine.
1) Can you take me through a typical day at the combine?
Steven Santini: A typical day is wake up early, run across the street to get breakfast because you have to get all your meals on your own, come back, get ready, get into your suit, and then you generally have a bunch of interviews from the morning to night. So you just eat breakfast, do your interviews, eat lunch, do your interviews, and then you usually end around 6 or 7 and get dinner with some of your friends, go back and go to sleep and do the same thing the next day. The physical testing was the last day so you go home right after it.
Zach Sanford: The first day I had 12 interviews. They’re only 20 minutes long so it’s not too bad, but it makes for a long day. You have about a half an hour between each one. Then, they test your flexibility. Not much going on. On the day of physical testing, I went to the gym to get a quick run in and wake up. Then, we headed over to the Toronto International Centre. Me and five other kids were the first people there, and we had to check in with three different doctors and do visual testing, hand-eye coordination stuff and the EKG. After that was all done, we did the fitness testing. I remember I was talking to someone and they were like, ‘Once you get out here, it’s lights, camera, action.’ I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought, ‘No big deal.’ I remember I walked around the corner and there were probably a couple hundred people in there and I was kind of shocked. And then I went through all the exercises, did a couple interviews and headed out.
2) What was the most challenging part of it?
Ian McCoshen: I thought the most challenging part was the interviewing process. You never knew what kind of questions they would ask you or how the meeting would go.
SS: Definitely the physical testing. Obviously there’s a lot of scouts and a lot of media watching you so it’s definitely a high-intensity, high-pressure event.
ZS: Definitely the wing gate test, which is where you go as hard as you can for 30 seconds on the bike. It sucked.
Ian McCoshen could go in the first round of the NHL draft. If he does, he will be BC’s 15th player to be drafted in the first round. (photo credit: Britta Lewis, courtesy of the Waterloo Black Hawks)
3) Was there any moment that was particularly memorable?
IM: The most memorable part was meeting all the new faces and experiencing the same things, whether that be the interviews or the physical testing.
SS: The wing gate test on the bike. It’s a test to measure your leg power. That was really hard. I just got off, and my legs felt like Jell-o so that’s definitely something I’ll remember.
ZS: That part I explained: walking around the corner after all the medical stuff was done out onto the stage in front of everyone. It was crazy, definitely not what I expected.
4) What’s the best piece of advice you have for prospects going into the combine in the future?
IM: Have fun! Be yourself and enjoy where you are.
ZS: Don’t get overwhelmed and don’t get nervous. If you’re there you’re already a top prospect so it’s not really going to make or break you. It can’t help you that much; it can’t hurt you that much. So just go through and be calm and take it all in. It’s a great experience that not many people get to do.
5) Are you going to the draft? If so, what are you most looking forward to? If not, do you have any other special plans?
IM: Yes, I am going to attend the draft. I am looking forward to spending time with family that will also be attending.
SS: It’s only in Jersey so it’s not that far from home. I’ll definitely be there with my family. A lot of it’s out of my control. I don’t know where I’m going to get drafted or when I’m going to get drafted. I’m just going to try to stay positive throughout the whole thing and enjoy it with my family.
ZS: Yeah, I am. Just hearing a team call my name.
6) Ian, was there any added pressure of being considered a potential first rounder going into the combine?
IM: You think about it, but once the week wore on I did not think about it as much. Playing in the NHL is not about who gets there first but who stays the longest.
Steven Santini and Zach Sanford each saw their draft stock rise this year (photo credits: Tom Sorensen, Islanders Hockey Club)
7) Steven, I heard that you were going to the Buffalo Sabres combine.
SS: I’m going [June 3] actually. The Sabres are a great organization so it’s something I’m looking forward to. As of right now, that’s the only team I’m visiting, but I’ll definitely have meetings with teams down here in the New York area before the draft.
8) Zach, you went from a little-known forward playing New Hampshire public hockey to a potential second or third round draft pick. What do you make of your rise to prominence?
ZS: It’s been pretty crazy. It all happened really fast. About a year ago, I probably would’ve never thought I’d be in the position, considering the NHL or anything that. I mean, I barely talked to colleges. It’s been a lot of hard work, and I think all the hard work that I put in paid off. A lot of coaches, a lot of family members and a lot of friends have supported me the whole way so that’s been great.
9) Just for fun, who do you think is going to win the Stanley Cup?
SS: The Bruins looked good in game one, but I still think Pittsburgh has a really good shot of winning it.
ZS: I’ve got to go with the Bruins. They’ve been playing well, had a big win in game one so I think if they keep that up they’re going to take it all.
Interviews by Jen Dobias