Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Kaleb Dietsch was one of just 24 elite defencemen invited to the Ontario Hockey League’s annual pre-draft development combine last weekend in Oshawa.
In all, 76 of the top U16 players from across Ontario were invited to the two-day assessment camp.
Players were put through rigorous on-ice workouts and dryland testing. All the athletes’ results are distributed to OHL general managers ahead of this weekend’s junior draft.
The league says the testing of the top players is designed to help teams evaluate players for the OHL Priority Selection draft, to be held on Friday and Saturday.
The draft airs live for free on OHL Live with the first three rounds on Friday starting at 7 p.m.
It continues Saturday at 9 a.m. with rounds 4 through 15.
Last weekend’s OHL combine “provides prospective players with a unique experience to enhance their own personal development,” says Brodie Barrick, the league’s director of recruitment and player services.
“The skills testing helps identify on- and off-ice strengths to help players achieve their peak performance, while the games provide players another platform to showcase their talents in a new environment alongside their peers in advance of the Priority Selection.”
Besides some high-level 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 hockey games, the program included testing and skills training, as well as a seminar focusing on proper nutrition and training for elite athletes.