Friday, May 25, 2012

VO2 Max Test

Excerpt from by Mike G. Morreale

In the summer before the 2010 NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto, Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin opted to give the VO2 Max bike test a shot "just for fun."

It's one of two grueling stationary-bike tests. There's the Wingate Cycle Ergometer, which measures a player's power output during a 30-second burst, and the VO2 Max test, which measures a player's endurance and aerobic fitness. One comes right after the other, with just a short interval for recovery.

Those familiar with VO2 Max test know it happens to be the most grueling of all the tests at the Combine.

"I ended up throwing up after the VO2 (during the practice run)," Seguin said. "It's very difficult. You try to stay positive. I talked to guys who did it the year before my draft year and talked to guys who did it for practice. They said the bike tests are pretty hard. You have casual stuff, like bench press, push-ups, sit-ups, which you've done before. But the bikes are quite tough."

Seguin survived the bike tests at his Combine and eventually was drafted second by the Boston Bruins.

Last year, just two players lasted at least 14 minutes on the VO2 -- Swedish defenseman Adam Larsson, who was drafted fourth by the New Jersey Devils, and Czech defenseman David Musil, chosen 31st by the Edmonton Oilers.

NHL Central Scouting's No. 1-rated North American skater in 2011, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, lasted nine minutes on the VO2. That didn't stop the Oilers from taking him with the first pick of the draft.

It's not uncommon to see a few players cradling a trash can following the VO2 test.

"I think anyone going into the [Combine bike tests] wants to look as good as they can," NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr said. "There's some pride in it, and it does help them with their training to let them know this is where you need to be if you want to play in the NHL. You could look at it from another angle, too. If you test poorly at the Combine and test very good at the team's training camp, well, then they can say that you put in a heck of a summer with regard to your progression … that could be a benefit, too."

Mike G. Morreale

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