NHL teams will get the chance to kick the tires of top prospects at the end of May at the scouting combine, where select players will undergo physical testing, medical examinations and interviews.
Among the 23 WHL participants is Kootenay Ice captain Sam Reinhart, who will join 119 players from North American and international leagues who will be on hand to strut their stuff.
“It’s a change from past practice of invites being solely based on Central Scouting’s final rankings,” said David Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting. “Research has shown over the last decade that an average of 78 invites to the Combine were selected in the top 100 at the NHL Draft.”
Joining Reinhart are the likes of fellow top prospects such as defenceman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts (OHL) Kingston Frontenacs forward Sam Bennett (OHL) and Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL).
Top talent internationally includes more NHL bloodlines in William Nylander of Modo in Sweden and Kasperi Kapenen of Kalpa in Finland.