Isn’t It All About Projecting?

Isn’t it all about projecting?

I’m not the be all, end all of scouting. I’ve made my share of mistakes and I will probably make more throughout my journey in the game.

As one longtime NHL Pro Scout told me, ‘Craig, you carry your mistakes with you, so you can learn from them.’

I can honestly say that I learn something every time I walk into a rink to scout a game.

Every scout may have their top five “lookfors” or evaluation techniques when assessing and projecting players, but for me, my past mistakes undoubtedly shape my future decisions, evaluations and projections.

From my experience it’s all about learning and growing, but more importantly learning from your mistakes, gaining experience and channeling that into the next scouting experience. 

As we approach one of the largest scouting tournaments of the year for many top end draft eligible prospects from this region, I caution many in the hockey world to take a step back, observe, assess, learn and project.

Let’s face it, it is an important weekend, but it’s just five games out of the entire season. It shouldn’t make or break anyone’s draft stock. It’s a process, isn’t that what projecting is all about?

Where are they now and where are they going to be on draft day and beyond?

I’ve been told that “Craig, when you like a player, you really like that player.”

In scouting terms that means that my scouting reports are way too positive and don’t vary enough throughput the season, or that’s how I interrupted it.

So does that mean I’m way too lenient, too positive?

Am I way too high on a player too early?

Some would say yes, and some may say that I don’t know what the hell, I’m doing.

So be it, but all I’m doing is projecting, isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

Everyone will have their own unique projections at times, that’s what makes this job so intriguing.

I’m not going to get into great detail about certain scouting conversations over the years because many of those discussions were off the record, but I will tell you this, the size and stature of players always get discussed and sometimes lowers their draft rankings for no reason, other than they are small.

It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

You see that’s old school scouting rhetoric.

That scouting perspective shouldn’t exist, but it does. Some players are ranked higher than they should because of who they are, where they played a season ago, where they play currently and the all mighty stat sheet.

Oh maybe I shouldn’t have said or written that, but it’s true, it shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

Is that projecting? You know something, that isn’t projecting, that’s just bull shit.

We all have our methodology, we all have our way of projecting talent and to each their own, but shouldn’t a player’s talents be evaluated, assessed and projected fairly, free from bull shit? It should be, but it isn’t.

You see that’s why the scouting world varies so much.

We all see it differently, we project in our own unique way.

Projection or prediction?

You see players prove scouts right or wrong all of the time, that’s why the scouting business is so diverse.

There’s a time to be negative, there’s a time to be positive, but there’s always time to project.

Our mistakes are what guides us, unfortunately, so many in the scouting fraternity are scared to make them, scared to believe what they see, scared to put themselves out there for what they see in a player. You see that’s where the best discussions about players start, not end. We all see differently, some scouts are positive, some are negative, but when you can talk about players free from the surface area hockey bull shit, that’s when the real projecting gets done.

Isn’t scouting about projecting?

Heading into the Monctonian Challenge, I really hope people can get past all the bull shit and hype and focus in on projecting and evaluating the next crop of draft eligible prospects.

It’s extremely difficult to drill down in great detail on every 2006 born prospect over just one weekend, this is process, the player, the agent, the coach, the parents and scout all have to realize that.

Next week is all about cutting through the surface area hockey bull shit and doing the job, next week is all about projecting talent.

Everyone will draw their own conclusions or evaluations, that’s what makes tournaments like this so exciting.

We all see it differently, we all project, not everyone can see through the bull shit.

See you at the rink,

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