WHL to launch 2016 Prospect Combines Program

Nov 30, 2015

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League, in partnership with Okanagan Hockey Group and Sport Testing Inc., announced today that the 2016 WHL Combines program will begin its third year in late March across Western Canada. Over the past two seasons, between the WHL Combines and the other WHL Combine initiatives, the program has tested over 4,300 players.

CombineU16_15_Crop.jpgDesigned to assist minor hockey players with their skill development utilizing a state of the art testing system, the WHL Prospect Combines will consist of a full two-day camp which will include on and off-ice testing, on and off-ice skill development sessions, scrimmages, a nutrition, strength and conditioning seminar, and a presentation on the WHL player experience. The Camps will be open to players playing elite hockey and born from 2000 to 2004.

The testing conducted at the WHL Combines will consist of a series of on and off-ice tests that will enable a player to compare their individual results, through the WHL database, with other players that have been tested. The results will identify the strengths of a player as well as areas where improvement may be required. The WHL Combines are a comprehensive way to quantify a player’s ability and therefore focus on specific skills for future development.

Building off last year's testing, the WHL Combines program has added two shooting events as well as a new skating event for participants to further analyze their abilities. The WHL Combines program is committed to ensuring its drills and skill development analysis evolve each year to provide young players with a one-of-a-kind experience.

“With over 4,300 of the top prospects in the system having been tested over the past two years, the WHL Combines provides the opportunity for players to compare their results and see how they are progressing from a skill development point of view”, commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison.

The WHL Combines will be operated on behalf of the WHL by the Penticton-based Okanagan Hockey Group, an international leader in hockey school instructional programs and hockey academics. Under its agreement with the WHL, Okanagan Hockey Group will provide the highest quality instructors and testing personnel for each WHL Combine.

CombineU16_14_crop.jpg“We are very pleased to be entering into our third season of Combine testing in partnership with the WHL,” states President of Okanagan Hockey Group Andy Oakes. “This year’s lineup of Combines has multiple offerings in each of the four provinces along with an American based Combine.  This line up of Combines will result in more information for the players and the teams in the WHL.  Last season 77 players drafted in the Bantam draft had gone through a Combine.”

The testing systems for the WHL Combines will be supplied by Sport Testing Inc., a Toronto-based global leader in sport testing systems. The Sport Testing Inc. technology includes the most advanced athlete testing solution in the industry today. Sport Testing is currently being used by a number of NHL teams in their player development programs. It is also being used all over the world by a number of different players which those testing at the WHL Combines program can use their results to compare to.

Many current WHL players have taken part in Combine testing including Nick Merkley (Kelowna Rockets), Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings), Brayden Point (Moose Jaw Warriors), Matthew Barzal (Seattle Thunderbirds) and Jake DeBrusk (Swift Current Broncos). Many of the selections from the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft also took part in a WHL Combine including Ty Smith (Spokane) and Tyler Popowich (Vancouver Giants).

WHL Combines are scheduled to be held from March through June in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg.

For further information, registration details or to hear from elite players who have been tested, visit the WHL Combines page at www.whl.ca/page/whlcombines or https://okanaganhockey.com/whl-combines/whl-prospects-combines/

To register directly, please visit https://campscui.active.com/orgs/WHLCAN#/selectSessions/1161204/filter/location=641601

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