Scouting in hockey

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by jnk96, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. jnk96

    jnk96 Registered User

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    Before people tell me that there have been hundreds of threads on this already, please read my post first, because my issue is different.
    I wasn't sure where to put this thread, so if it belongs somewhere else, a mod can maybe just move it to the right location for me.

    First off, this is not the regular "how do I become an NHL scout?" thread, that's not my aspiration at all.

    I am a huge hockey fan that spends more time on HFBoards than an individual should, watches equally much hockey, and loves writing. Why that is important, will become clear in the following. My interest in scouting (that has been there for a long time) has gotten an enormous boost lately; I don't know why, it just has. For that reason, I would really love to get into scouting (ha-ha, many people do, it's not that easy). However, as opposed to many others with the same aspiration, I am not looking to become an NHL scout as a career. I would just love to start scouting for myself, maybe write a blog, or simply post about it here on HFBoards as a start. I am also looking to go to university to study journalism, and maybe eventually become a sports writer kind of as a hobby, if everything worked out.

    The thing is: I don't know much about scouting. I watch hockey a lot, try to look out for a players attributes, but simply don't know what I am actually supposed to look out for. I also play hockey myself (not for long and nowhere near junior level but still hockey), so I do kind of know what it takes. I watch players in particular if I have interest in them, and can write a scouting report on them, or rate them in different categories. But am I doing it right? I don't know. Please spare me with "if you don't see it, it's the wrong job for you" comments, since I just want to do it casually and for the fun of it.

    Besides that, I'd like to know what ways there are to scout players (pen+notepad, apps, etc.), and how to structure what you see as a scout. I have tried to read about it. However, most articles or documentaries about scouting say "it's not as great as one thinks", "it's more travelling than anything else", "it's hard to get to the NHL", all things like that. I know those things, but that's not really the information I am looking for. I would greatly appreciate, if someone could answer some of these questions for me, and maybe tell me more that is important to know:

    - What exactly do I need to look for in a player?
    - How many players do you watch in one game? Just the one/two/three you have on your list, and really no one else? Or do you still keep your eyes open for a player that has been flying under the radar?
    - What is the best way to start scouting (I don't really want to buy/subscribe to an app for hundreds or thousands of dollars)?
    - How much scouting can be done on TV or rather how exact can scouting be that way? I live in Germany again so I would want to start "scouting" players here in my hometown in our team and the opponents, just to get into scouting and find out "how to do it". However, I would also try to do some WHL scouting from here in Germany.

    Thanks a lot for your help!!
     
  2. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    Most current scouts I know played hockey at some level.

    If you are looking for an in to be a scout--starting working as a goffer free of charge for your local team
     
    Last edited by moderator spiny norman: Dec 9, 2014
  3. jnk96

    jnk96 Registered User

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    Thanks for your post.
    I know how I could try to get into a scouting job, but that is not what I want to know. I want to know how to scout - basically for myself and the readers of what I write about prospects on here or other places.
     
  4. Tom ServoMST3K

    Tom ServoMST3K Houle Yeah!

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  5. Larry Hoover

    Larry Hoover Registered User

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    It's not enough to just like hockey and claim you have a good eye. You have to be able to analyze the habits of individual players, how they hold their stick and control the puck (with the teo or shaft of their blade), their angles and gap control, their first stride and follow up. It's more than just speed & acceleration and velocity. It's passing placement and power and decision making and timing but also looking at the physical tendencies of players in the most detailed manor. You have to see if their left side cross overs need work and if they power from their toe and glide.

    If you've ever heard a scout speak about a player its more than just your typical traits, they go in depth and talk about a players first stride and gap control for minutes.
     
  6. alko

    alko Registered User

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    Look for some paid course. For example here.
    Or try to find some scout and offer him your abilities. Sure, you don't know nothing yet, so for the beginning you can make videos from some players or something similar. And he could learn you the scouting skills.
     
  7. johan f

    johan f Registered User

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    If one haven't played or been involved within hockey since childhood it's difficult to have that gutfeeling when you see a player. The instincts are harder to get if not born and bread with the sport.

    It is always possible to scout in a clinical way, look at stats and so on. But there is the little details you can see in a teenplayer which tells him apart from others, and those details a former player can notice. Hence that most scouts are former players.
     

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