List or No List, It’s Not Over
It’s hard to believe the 2021-2022 hockey season is winding down. With all the stops and starts it just feels like the season just got rolling.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head once again causing several benchmark showcase tournaments to be postponed.
Control what you can control has taken on new meaning over the last two years.
We should never forget the toll that has taken on young athletes and the stress that has caused them. Obviously, with the next round of draft rankings are fast approaching and the pressure is ever mounting. Again players really have no control over the subjectivity of these lists or rankings.
It’s the unknown that is probably the most unnerving for these players and families.
I’ve written a lot about the scouting process over the years in hopes of being transparent and providing some insight for young draft eligible players.
Over that time I’ve had tough conversations with young players and their parents about the process and pressures.
You see every scout and organization see it differently.
They evaluate and value different aspects of a players repertoire.
Trust me telling players and parents about the process and likelihood of them potentially not getting drafted is never easy and only adds to the complexity of the process.
At that point players and their families usually have to reconsider their options. To stay the course or change gears and focus on a different path within the game. Nevertheless, my messaging always comes back to the foundational three questions, that I’ve written about time and time again, but what does being left off the list really mean? Well it means you can’t get drafted into the QMJHL. But each team can add players.
List or no list, it’s not over, it’s far from over.
Who’s to say a particular player isn’t on someone else’s draft board or radar?
There’s so much focus on one or two particular lists or scouting reports that it clouds their judgement or perspective.
There’s literally hundreds or seemingly thousands of undrafted stories across the sporting world, but many young players remain fixated on being drafted instead of continuing to develop and work on their weaknesses every day.
List or no list, it’s not over.
There’s so much pressure because of the funnel effect when it comes to the developmental landscape of the game that parents and players panic when they don’t make the highest caliber teams. Sadly they may have a point.
“It doesn’t matter where you play, or how old you are, if you’re good enough you will get noticed” I wish that was true, unfortunately it’s not always the case. Never give up, keep working hard, when someone finally takes notice, your character and resiliency will jump off the page. I’m here to say, people do notice and if they are doing their job they will value what you possess. Perhaps you’re not ready right now, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to be ready next year or the year after, that’s why if you’re not on “the list” it’s not over.
If you’re not on “the list” you might be on someone’s else’s list. It might not be the list that you want to be on currently, but they still value what you bring to the game and that’s another reason for hope. There could be another opportunity within the game that you should consider.
Some players get missed. It’s hard to believe, but they do., that’s why they don’t appear on “the list”.
They get missed for several reasons, but again every scout and organization sees it differently. That doesn’t mean you can’t play, it just means that you perhaps don’t meet their current criteria.
Every player has a ceiling, every player has their own unique path.
Not every player lands on “the list”.
Some deserve to be there, but never are added. That’s the harsh reality of rankings or lists, but that’s another reason why list or no list it’s not over.
Prove people wrong, or prove people right, it’s up to the player.
Scouts miss on players every year in every sport. There’s always one team that’s gets it right and perhaps they see it a little differently than others.
List or no list it’s not over keep working hard, play to your identity, embrace the grind, trust your process and journey in the game you never know where that might take you.
List or no list, it’s not over.
Bennett MacArthur is a prime example of not getting drafted! He didn’t quit but worked even harder and proved many people wrong.