What do Scouts Look For ?
What do Scouts look for in Forwards ? There are 6 things that I focus on when evaluating a forward:
1) SKATING.....The player must be an average skater or better. In College hockey and or the OHL, many of the games are played in a short period of time (i.e. 3 games in 3 nights/ 3 games in 4 nights). If a player is a below average skater he is going to have an extremely difficult time in the last game of a 3 game in 3 night segment, not to mention the mental/ travel fatigue that accompanies most hockey schedules.
2) SKILL LEVEL.... The player must possess an acceptible skill level i.e puckhandling, the ability to pass and receive a puck using both sides of the stick. The ability to get your shot on net.
3) HOCKEY SENSE.... How creative is the player? Does he see everybody on the ice? Does the player think fast/ make sound decisions with the puck ? It is so important in todays game that the player knows what he is going to do with the puck...before he gets it!
4) GRIT..... finishing checks, winning battles for contested pucks, driving the net, standing up for a teammate, getting pucks out of the zone by taking a hit.
5) COMPETE.....there are 3 levels of competitiveness....players that bring it (empty the tank every shift), players that sometimes bring it, and players that seldom bring it. The one thing that every player can control is his/her effort. There is no excuse for not blocking a shot, outskating an opponent to a loose puck, and not playing with fire and brimstone. You could be the most talented player on your team....but if you don't compete on a consistent basis you will never get very far in the long term.
6) ROLE......What function are you going to provide to the hockey club? Defining yourself !!! What do you do better than everybody else? Are you a playmaker, a finisher, a checker etc. From round 6 to players that miss the draft all together.... the difference between player a and player b is very slim. Most times it comes down to a player defining himself for a particular role. In essence you need to do one thing better than most players in your draft class.
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