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Playing board games: the curious technique of the Avalanche at the Combine
Credit: Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images
For the past few days, the top prospects in the next NHL draft have been in Buffalo. This is where the famous Combine takes place, where the prospects undergo a ton of physical testing while meeting the various teams on the Bettman circuit.

It’s a great way for teams to get information on players directly from the source.

Of course, we know that players are good at getting the tape out, so there’s a lot to take in.

Seeing a player say he’s good and could see himself playing in all 32 NHL markets isn’t exactly a revelation.

That’s one of the reasons why teams sometimes try to unsettle players a little in interviews… and the Colorado Avalanche seem to have found a pretty original way of doing it.

According to the hopefuls on hand, during their interview with the Avalanche, they had to… play board games.

What we understand is that we’re not talking about just one game. The hopefuls seem to mention that they’ve played 2-3 games, and we’re not necessarily talking about very popular games.

The hopefuls referred to them as “new games”.

In reality, it’s arguably a strategy for evaluating how prospects can solve problems in action. To a lesser extent, it’s also a way of seeing how competitive the guys are.

Let’s just say that I’m pretty confident there’s at least one psychologist in the room at this point to analyze what the hopefuls are doing. It’s a good way to see them in action rather than spitting out premade answers.

Among the other, slightly more unusual techniques employed by the teams during the interviews, Utah’s team asked the hopefuls what their “passenger score” was on the Uber app, while one team (which again is possibly Utah’s) asked the hopefuls what their “score” was on the Snapchat app.

Any way you can get information, I guess.

We’ll see if the board game technique will help the Avalanche and if the Uber question will help Utah’s roster for the next draft, and most importantly, we’ll see if these are techniques that will spread in the coming years.

Perhaps in a few years, board games and “Uber passenger scoring” will replace the famous pet question…

In a row

We told you about it yesterday.

– I love it.

– Will he stay in Vancouver?

– Lane Hutson’s little brother sees himself as a narwhal.

– Here are the results of the various physical tests at the Combine.

– Really?

– Yankees want pitchers.

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