Evgeni Grachev: I Had Twenty Interviews with NHL Teams
Wednesday July 23rd 2008, 8:10 am

Rangers prospect Evegeni Grachev recounted his experience at the NHL Combine in June in this article on the Russian web site Sport Today, originally posted on July 7th. In it, he names the Rangers as one of six teams he most enjoyed talking to while in Toronto.

As is tradition, the tests were held in Toronto. In all, they lasted six days. Each player received a schedule of interviews which indicated with which representatives from the NHL he would have an interview and how many he needed to attend, and his schedule of tests. The first three to four days we just met with scouts and managers of teams. The conversations didn’t last long — around 15 minutes. Some teams invited players they were interested in to dinner or prescribed psychological tests. For example, I had an additional test for the Islanders.

Before the testing we had interviews with representatives of the NHL clubs. I went to training room in order to keep myself in shape. I personally didn’t make any special preparations, but, to be honest, after the tests I understood that for these assignments it is necessary to better prepare oneself. I don’t know if you can call it an amusing incident, but on the first bike [test], on which it was necessary to reach maximum speed, they told me to start, but in two seconds they stopped me, explaining that I started early. But otherwise, everything went well. With the tests one either copes or does not cope. Its easy to examine your physitcal abilities. But to the scouts your character and attitude towards the testing is much more important.

Everyone had a different number of interviews. I had twenty! From the full list I can pick out Edmonton, New Jersey, Dallas, Los Angeles, Columbus and the New York Rangers as being very enjoyable to communicate with. Its impossible to get to know a person in a week with the results of these tests, but I believe that it is a necessary undertaking. First, it’s an opportunity to personally get acquainted with representatives of many clubs. I learned a lot of new things about myself after one test with a psychologist (laughs). And second, [it's an opportunity] to check up on your physical abilities. I enjoyed it all very much.

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