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Physical Therapy Students Showcase Skills at NHL Combine

Physical Therapy Students Showcase Skills at NHL Combine

Spend some time in Buffalo and it won’t take you long to realize how much of a hockey-crazed town it is. But with the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs now over, getting a hockey-fix is a rarity. Luckily, students in the D’Youville Physical Therapy (PT) program got theirs in earlier than most as they volunteered at the annual NHL scouting combine held in Buffalo from May 27 to June 2 at the KeyBank Center and HarborCenter downtown.

The NHL scouting combine allows the 31 NHL teams to evaluate the top 100-plus draft-eligible players on their conditioning, physical traits, and medical conditions. Through connections in the D’Youville Physical Therapy department, Ron White, DPT, OCS, clinical associate professor, arranged for the students to have this chance for the second straight year.

“This was an outstanding opportunity for our students to showcase their talents,” said White. “Last year and this year it was a huge success in large part due to the dedication and knowledge that they possess.”

The students assisted in the anthropometric section of the combine, taking measurements that include height, weight, body-mass index (BMI), and waist-to-hip ratios among others.

Robert Brunell ’18, was one of the twenty students at the combine. He said basic anthropometric measuring is commonly taught at an undergraduate level, but the NHL needed experts. “The sheer number of athletes being processed through each room every 15 minutes or so required the expertise and proficiency expected of a post-grad clinician,” he said.

Buffalo Sabres fans have an even higher interest than normal in this year’s NHL draft as the team owns the number one overall selection. Many experts project 19-year-old Rasmus Dahlin from Sweden, who Brunell got to meet, to be that pick.

“One of the coolest parts of being at the combine was meeting all the young athletes in a personal setting. We got to ask them questions and hear about their impressions of Buffalo,” said Brunell. “Meeting Rasmus Dahlin and a few of the top picks was awesome.”


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