Prospects enjoy strutting their stuff

Hockey players participate in the 2011 CHL/NHL top prospects skills competition in Toronto. ...

Hockey players participate in the 2011 CHL/NHL top prospects skills competition in Toronto. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

TORONTO - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins admits he wouldn’t be human if he didn’t take a peak at the projected rankings for the NHL draft.

When you are in the top 10 on most of them, as the Red Deer Rebels forward is, the temptation is too great.

So too is the opportunity provided by the annual CHL Prospects Game, including Tuesday’s testing session at the MasterCard Centre.

“You have to approach it as an opportunity, another way to show off your skills,” Nugent-Hopkins said after skating in front of close to 50 NHL scouts and management personnel.

“It’s a good chance for everybody to show a different side. It’s not playing hockey but it’s a very important part of the game.”

While the tests weren’t overly gruelling, the players recognized their importance both for their own development and shaping the opinion of the NHL teams they are trying to impress.

“Testing is a big part of the game right now,” said Niagara Ice Dogs’ Ryan Strome, another projected top-10 forward.

“All these things you have that can improve people’s opinion of you, you have to take advantage.”


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