Buffalo will remain the final stop for prospects before the National Hockey League's entry draft.
The league and the Buffalo Sabres announced Monday the two sides signed a three-year contract to continue to hold the combine in KeyBank Center and LECOM Harborcenter through 2022. The week-long event, which includes interviews and off-ice fitness testing, has been held in Buffalo since 2015, bringing more than 100 prospects, league personnel, team employees and media to the city.
The event begins with teams conducting one-on-one interviews with prospects in suites throughout KeyBank Center. The off-ice fitness testing includes measurements of height, wing span, standing long jump, bench press, balance, aerobic fitness and the Wingate Cycle Ergometer Test, which measures agility.
"After a successful first five years of the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, we’re thrilled to host the event for another three years,” Kevyn Adams, Buffalo Sabres senior vice president of business administration, said in a news release. “Partnering with the NHL to host the Combine has been a wonderful opportunity for our organization and the city of Buffalo. We’re excited that the path to the NHL for these young players will continue to run through our city and we look forward to welcoming the hockey world back to Buffalo this spring.”
Buffalo presents a unique venue for the NHL given the space available at KeyBank Center and Harborcenter, a remarkable improvement from the Toronto Congress Centre, which hosted the event prior to 2015. KeyBank Center and Harborcenter have hosted a number of events in recent years, including the Frozen Four and IIHF World Junior Championship.
Since 2015, more than 500 draft-eligible players have come to Buffalo for the Scouting Combine, including the Sabres’ No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin (2018) and No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel (2015), and last year’s No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes (New Jersey Devils).
“The NHL’s annual Scouting Combine is one of the most valuable experiences in a young prospects draft year and we are thrilled to continue utilizing the Sabres best-in-class facilities for this important event,” Dan Marr, Director NHL Central Scouting, said. “The Buffalo Sabres are gracious hosts and The KeyBank Center, LECOM Harborcenter and the City of Buffalo provide the ideal location and venue requirements for all our needs. Together with our Clubs, we would also like to recognize the Marriott Harborcenter for their continued support of this annual event.”