YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Phantoms defenseman Chris Bradley participated in the Buffalo Sabres combine on Sunday, June 5, at HSBC Arena. Bradley is the second Phantom to participate in an NHL draft event this summer.
After completing his rookie season with the Phantoms (59gp, 3g,6a,9pts) and securing a college commitment to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the 6'1 defenseman received an invite to the Buffalo Sabres combine just seven days before he was set to work out at the home of the NHL franchise, HSBC Arena.
"At first, I really didn't believe it," said Bradley. "It was the first time I held an invite to an event like this. I was definitely nervous going in there, especially with the short amount of time until I had to be there. It was good because I did not have a lot of time to think about it but at the same time it did not leave me a lot of time to prepare for the physical testing."
Bradley, the only USHL player invited to participate on June 5, had the opportunity to work out with NCAA athletes and players from the Canadian Hockey League, which is comprised of teams in the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. Some of the workouts included bench press, a treadmill resistance run and a shot speed test.
"Not only was I the only USHL player there, I was also the youngest player there," said Bradley. "It was definitely a little intimidating when you're testing next to these other players [CHL and NCAA]. It is also a nice opportunity to prove to myself that I belong here and that NHL teams have taken notice of what I have done on the ice."
The Phantoms defenseman is RPI bound after the 2011-12 USHL season, but now with even more exposure to NHL teams, Bradley is set on a course to fulfill any youth hockey players dream, secure a spot on an NHL roster.
"The NHL draft is coming up and it is something you don't want to think about," said Bradley, "but it is always in the back of your mind no matter what. This experience at the Buffalo camp will stick with me and I am even more confident that I will continue to develop at the collegiate level."
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are on sale now. Ticket plans start at the low price of just $90. Call the Phantoms office today at 330.747.7825 for more information or to make a reservation today! For a complete Phantoms schedule, visit www.youngstownphantoms.com.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its ninth season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2010-11. With over 200 players this season already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 15 NHL Entry Draft picks on League rosters, the USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com.
It's not just hockey. It's the USHL.