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Can teams effectively ‘try out’ potential draft picks?

I’ve never heard of this before and I’m wondering if anyone knows whether another team’s done this before. The Canadian Press reports that the Ottawa Senators, who own the sixth overall pick in the first round of the NHL’s Entry Draft, brought a trio of prospects to their practice facility to essentially give on-ice try-outs to players who don’t belong to any NHL team as of yet (nor have they, in most cases, skated since March):

Three of the headliners in the NHL Entry Draft class of 2011 worked out for the Senators on Monday, and for one, in particular, the stage was much appreciated.

“It fun to have this kind of attention, you don’t have it back home. I’ll try to enjoy it as much as possible. I hope I get used to this,” said Mika Zibanejad, the second-rated European skater according to Central Scouting.

Joining the budding Swedish star were centres Sean Couturier and Ryan Strome.

“It felt good. It’s been my first time (skating) since I’m done playing,” said Couturier, ranked sixth among North American skaters after scoring 36 goals and 60 assists with Drummondville of the QMJHL last season. “I’m happy to be out there and just enjoying the time with the Ottawa Senators.”

Continued with video on TSN, and the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan reports that the Senators will wine, dine and give Senators practice jerseys to Gabriel Landeskog and Jonathan Huberdeau on Tuesday…

[Edit/update: I don’t mean for my tone to sound standoffish…I think the Senators are doing something incredibly clever, and I’m guessing that more teams will follow their lead next season.]

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Russian Rocket's avatar

I’m surprised this has not been done before.  It’s common practice in the NFL to bring a player in for a workout and evaulations and what not before the draft.  I like this move.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 06/07/11 at 11:40 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

Good for the Sens. No reason why teams shouldn’t do all the due diligence they can prior to making a lottery pick.

After being downplayed for months, this year’s draft is shaping up to be rather interesting.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 06/07/11 at 12:34 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Can’t say I’ve heard of an NHL team do this before either.
Seems a waste of time to do anything past talking to prospects on the phone unless you are drafting in top three.

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels on 06/07/11 at 01:32 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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