After a long week of interviews with NHL teams from Monday through Thursday, 2022 NHL combine participants turned their focus to fitness testing on Friday and Saturday.

Once the prospects completed their exercises, they spoke to the media to reflect on the week, the upcoming draft, and their hockey careers.

One prospect who may be available to the Flyers with the fifth overall pick in the draft, Slovakian defenseman Šimon Nemec (third-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting), did not participate in the testing at the combine and was not made available to the media. Czech defenseman David Jiříček (fourth-ranked European skater), was not able to attend, and Russian right winger Danila Yurov (seventh-ranked European skater) was not invited.

» READ MORE: Current and former Flyers reflect on their wackiest combine experiences

Here’s a look at two players — winger Joakim Kemell and center Marco Kasper, two forwards the Flyers may consider at No. 5:

‘Just be brave and confident and speak English’

For the first time since 2019, the NHL combine and its gantlet of fitness testing returned to Buffalo, N.Y. Finnish winger Kemell, the second-ranked European skater behind Juraj Slafkovský, was one of the first prospects of the day to run through the exercises in the 7:30 a.m. group.

Kemell had strong opinions about the 30-second Wingate test, which is designed to evaluate anaerobic fitness.

“Oh, it was awful,” Kemell said.

“I’m just thinking, ‘Soon it’s over. Soon it’s over.’”

The Wingate test blew by quickly, as Kemell finished with a 45.9 fatigue index, which ranked in the top 17 among participants. But his multiday interview slate did not move at the same rate, as Kemell sat down with 18 teams at the combine.

After a solid season with JYP in the Finnish Liiga that saw Kemell post the most goals in the league as a rookie (15) and earn a bronze medal at the U18 World Championship with a team-high six goals and two assists for eight points, it makes sense that plenty of clubs are interested getting to know Kemell off the ice.

In those rooms filled with NHL general managers, additional front office personnel, and scouts, Kemell developed a consistent approach to how we went about mastering those interviews.

“Just be brave and confident and speak English,” Kemell said with a laugh.

With the highs of Kemell’s season also came a few lows, including an upper-body injury he sustained in November. When he returned in December, he didn’t find the score sheet in his next 13 games until February. Kemell described the season as a whole as “kind of weird.”

However, Kemell is turning heads with his impressive shot and release, which he developed in his backyard in Finland while shooting on a net. He models his game after David Pastrňák, who boasts “a good shot and skating and vision on the ice.”

Kemell has two more years left on his contract with JYP and plans to return next season.

Globetrotting Kasper

Like Kemell, Austrian center Kasper was a part of the 7:30 a.m. testing group, putting up impressive numbers in the Wingate (tied for the best fatigue index score) and the VO2 max (tied for the second-best result).

As grueling as the testing process was, the interviews were even more intense. In total, the 18-year-old Kasper, ranked fifth among European skaters, spoke to all but two NHL teams: the Dallas Stars and the Carolina Hurricanes. He received some odd questions — one team asked him to sing a song — but he enjoyed one geography-related inquiry that required him to name the capital of Australia (Canberra).

» READ MORE: NHL draft combine: Math quizzes, silly questions and character vetting — inside a prospect’s interview with the Flyers

Kasper is particularly worldly — he made the jump from junior hockey in Austria as a 16-year-old to SHL club Rögle BK’s J18 team in Sweden as a 17-year-old. He learned Swedish within six months of moving to the country, adding a new language to a repertoire that includes German and English.

“It was really interesting, learning Swedish and English, ‘cause I think it’s important to try to fit in and communicate,” Kasper said. “So I tried to learn it as fast as possible, and also I think German is quite similar to Swedish.”

This season, Kasper played 12 games with Rögle’s J20 team (six goals, seven assists for 13 points) but spent most of his time with the pro club, one of the best in the SHL. In 46 games, Kasper registered seven goals and four assists. His 11 points were the most scored by a U18 junior in the SHL. Kasper has one more year on his contract with Rögle.

The shift from J20 to pro in the SHL served as challenge for Kasper, especially from a defensive perspective.

“I think I have the puck on my stick more in juniors,” Kasper said. “In the SHL, everything is so structured. You have to be on the right side defensively all the time. Probably like having the puck on the stick a little bit more.”

» READ MORE: How the Flyers' front office approaches the NHL draft combine

Regardless, the experience playing against men on a mostly full-time basis was an invaluable one for Kasper. At 6-foot-1, 187 pounds, Kasper displayed skill and strength while playing against the best competition in the country.

With the help of his father, Peter, who played 14 years of professional hockey primarily in Austria, Kasper has identified areas of his game he wants to improve upon by reviewing film.

“He’s been on me to move my feet the whole game,” Kasper said. “[And] compete level. To really go into battles and try to win every game.”