With an unprecedented immediate stop to all things hockey related, its not just the players and parents who are wondering what to do next.
Scouts, with their spring schedules in hand, had their routine and plans completely tossed out the window over the last two weeks.
Scouting is planned. Its planned months and sometimes up to a year in advance. Its a business item that has a budget attached to it, and therefor has to be planned in advance to make smart purchasing decisions as it relates to airfare, hotels and related items.
Scouting isn’t planned by some guy sitting on a couch and thinking about where he wants to go next weekend. Scouts are professionals, like any other professional occupation.
Everything in hockey begins and ends with scouting. They are the front line eyes and ears to the top hockey personnel. They are in that position because they are trusted and have proven to find the right players for the right positions in each organization.
With playoffs cancelled and other events being cancelled daily, scouts are now looking at how they can be most effective this spring and summer.
After talking to thirty scouts in the last two weeks, one common theme has emerged. They will be going to combines and showcases.
While there was some immediate cost savings in the playoff cancellations, there will be new costs to incur when things open up again. More important though, there will be less time to get things done this year.
While in years past high level scouts would jump from team to team camp, and go to as many Combines and showcases as possible, this year they have to be efficient.
Scouts will have to see as many players as possible each week. That leaves Combines and Showcases as the answer to their need for volume views.
Scouts will also be looking for advance information from Combines and Showcases. Those with high levels of AAA, Prep, and High School top performers will get priority attention over those who just let anyone register a team.
Scouts will be looking for full player information sheets, and profile information.
Lack of information, incomplete profile, roadblock of coaches who don’t release your information, are all things that will spell and immediate end to scouts interest.
Advance information is a new twist. In years past scouts would show up and look for player info sheets at check in. Moving forward, they want it emailed in advance or they want it in a searchable database. They will need to be efficient, and advance information is the way to get that accomplished.
Your on line player profile is critical and must be updated. Empty profiles, incorrect information, or inaccurate information could lead scouts to simply move on to the next prospect.
https://centralscoutingservices.com is a scouting hub with FREE player profiles. If you don’t have one there, you are overlooking a critical point where scouts begin to search for players.
Scouts will also be relying on advisers more than ever. Typically I get requests every year to help teams fill certain needs. They use me as another set of eyes.
Teams may say they need a big, left hand shot power forward to fill a second line role, or a right shot puck moving defenseman. Or a young goalie to fill a development role who will get a certain amount of games. They get very specific in what they are looking for and the role they need to fill on the team.
That said, my phone has already started to ring, and emails are coming in from teams with shopping lists.
Come back tomorrow for the next part in this series.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser