Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Your Statistics And The Real Effect On Scouting

For the last week I spend the time scouting and take in many game.  I speak to many people, and listen to many more people, parent and player alike.

There seem to be much confusion on how the player statistic is used by scout, and the real value scout place on statistic.  It is clear to me that many parent and player are misinformed to the point of craziness.

To be clear, each player statistic is relative important.  Why relative?  Because it is simply not the statistic that the scout place the value on.  If you think great statistic alone will make you prospect to higher level team, you do not understand the scouting process at all.

The forward with 100 point who play in the bad league against the bad competition is just another forward.  The goalie dominating the bad league against bad competition is just another goalie.  The defenseman who have the points against bad teams is just another defenseman.

The most important thing the scout look at is the level of competition the player play against when developing the statistics.  If you in a bad league, you statistic don’t mean much at all.

So when I hear the parent or player talking about the dominating statistic against the bad competition and how they think this will create more opportunity for them next year, I can only laugh to myself.

Who do you think scout would consider a better prospect?

The player in the Tier III league with 60 points in 60 game, or the player in the Tier II league with 30 point in 60 game?

It is the player in the higher level league playing against better competition that is the real prospect in the scout eye.  If you play in the low level league, only the lower level scout coming to watch.  Some league are not watched at all.

The prospect in the higher level league also need to understand that the statistic only go so far as well.  If you playing in higher level league but only produce against the bad team in that league, and disappear against the good team, you stats mean very little.

If you think scoring the five goal in a rout of the last place team mean anything to scout, you are wrong.  you just score five goal against a bad team and the scout throw those statistic out of total statistic.  If you have the shutout against the bad team who cant score the goal, the scout do not care either.  If you play defense and are plus five against the bad team, but consistent minus two against the good team, which statistic is more important?

The statistic only tell part of the story.  There are high and low in every player season, but the fewer high and low show consistency and that is what the scout want to see.

So if you one of these player who think playing on a good team in a bad league against bad competition is going to help you next year, you are wrong.  To be the best you must play against the best competition possible.

If a scout actually go to a game to watch the top scorer and see that the rest of the competition would not be considered good, that scorer just label a good scorer in bad competition.

Do not think that the padding of statistics make a positive impact on scouting at higher level.  It is simply not true.  Scout are smarter than to be impacted by great number alone.


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