The top end of the 2016 NHL Draft will go head-to-head once more.
Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi, the projected top picks, are among the 114 players eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft that have been invited to the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo from May 30 to June 4.
“The Combine week is always an interesting event for Central Scouting that seems to go by very quickly,” NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com. “The goal is to present an event that allows NHL personnel to interact with the future stars of our game and assist the NHL clubs in their pursuit of gaining as much knowledge about the draft prospects as possible. Central Scouting looks forward to hosting the prospects during Combine week so that they can further showcase themselves.”
Matthews has topped Future Considerations’ ranking for the NHL Draft since the preliminary listing was released last June. He scored 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games for Zurich in National League A, tied for fourth in goals and points-per-game (1.28), and second in even-strength goals (19).
He was awarded the NLA’s Rising Star award and finished second in voting for most valuable player, including six-first place votes. The award went to Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who finished with eight first-place votes.
He’s represented America at both the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship and 2016 World Championship.
Laine had 17 goals and 33 points in 46 regular season games, and was named the recipient of the Jari Kurri Trophy as the most valuable player in the Liiga playoffs. He recorded 10 goals and 15 points in 18 games to help Tappara to the Kanada-malja for the first time since 2003.
With Puljujarvi, Laine also helped Finland to a gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship with seven goals and 13 points in seven games. Puljujarvi had 13 goals, 28 points in 50 games with Karpat in Liigaj, and also won gold at the 2016 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Both Laine and Puljujarvi are representing Finland at the World Championship.
The full list of combine invitees can be found HERE.