The question everyone will be asking today is about as subjective as asking scouts who they “like” early on in a season.
Are top prospects games important? The answer to that question is it depends!
Yes, I know, that’s not a good answer, but it is what it is.
Scouts across the hockey world always flock to top prospects games because they want to see best on best. They know who’s going to be there or be named to roster, but it’s usually the surprises or omissions that get most of the attention at the end of the day.
Let me you tell you this, there’s a lot of work behind the scenes that goes into naming and creating top prospects rosters, so don’t tell me that scouts haven’t done their homework. In saying that, sometimes these top prospects rosters especially early on in the season are somewhat subjective.
Are there always surprises, yes, will the omissions or somewhat surprise additions be the talk of the town or rink for the next few days or weeks ahead yes, but it shouldn’t be the be all end all of a players draft year.
You see scouts are always intrigued in seeing players in different situations and top prospects games like the one we will be seeing tonight at the 40th Monctonian Challenge will either confirm a scouts early projections or leave them wanting more from the player.
You see it’s all about viewings, it’s all about seeing players in different situations.
Either way the scout hopefully will continue to circle back to those players to get more viewings.
I’m sure if you ask some scouts they hate the thought of prospect games, but yet they are always there because they don’t want to miss something.
A few years back I was very vocal about one players addition to the top prospects game. In the scouting world sometimes you have to stick your neck out a little but for what you believe in. Let’s just put it this way the player in question that I will not name just because put on a show scoring on a rocket of shot in his second or third shift the game, which was extremely validating, but deep down in that moment I was just so happy for the kid and their family.
You see the sacrifices all the top prospects and their families make is truly incredible and that’s why it’s so hard for them to understand or accept the selection process for these types of games.
Don’t get me wrong these top prospects games are great to see best on best and they do reveal a lot, but they shouldn’t be the be all end all of the scouting process. It’s just another game, it’s just another chapter in the draft year journey which has so many more chapters remaining.
Are top prospect games an accurate assessment of what a player can bring at the next level?
Yes and no, it just depends, on what scouts are looking for, what they are zeroing in on. It’s all about projecting, it’s all about collecting data and intel at different stages of the season. That’s what projecting is all about, seeing potential and projecting that to the next level.
Best on best or the closest thing to it, is always a great indicator of current standing or where a player is right now, remember I didn’t say standing on a list, because that’s for another day or another article.
So for all those that might still be asking the question are top prospects game important, well just put it this way, it depends who you talk to. Who are you talking to?
See you at the rink,