How much more do they have to give?
That’s the question that a lot of scouts should be asking as the QMJHL Cup is set to begin.
Showcase tournaments/weekends are awesome from a scouting perspective, but they shouldn’t be the be all end all of the evaluation/projection process. Unfortunately, in many cases they are.
For some scouts and organizations this will be their final look at the draft eligible prospects, but their entire season should be considered as well, not just their final few games.
You see how much do you think these kids have left in the tank to give?
At the end of the day they are just kids. Kids that have been through hell and back this season with all the stops and starts. Many of these kids played through injuries in their playoffs and left everything they had on the ice. Now they are all set to do it all over again.
Sure best on best tournaments are intriguing, but you can’t base the entire draft year process on one weekend it’s a process and if scouts understand that process they will understand that some players might not live up to their top billing.
You see great organizations with great draft history will understand that and project that, they will take all of that into consideration when evaluating all the players in the QMJHL Cup.
You can tell a lot from a players confidence, character and drive when they are tired or when they don’t have anything left to give.
Some players will rise up, when least expected. They are often the most gifted intellectually speaking. Players that use and rely on their hockey sense when they have nothing left physically will always jump off the page from a scouting perspective.
I would hate to see players fall in the overall draft rankings this week, because they have absolutely nothing left to give or our injured and can’t play. You would think that scouts would see through that, but many don’t. “No excuses. This is the grind, if they can’t handle it, then they don’t belong.”
That’s the mentality and mantra of a lot of scouts. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. It’s not because the kid is out of shape, it’s not because the kid doesn’t want it. It’s because the kid doesn’t have anything left to give.
You see at showcase weekends you have to cut through all the bull shit, and simply project and understand that tired mistakes will happen. It’s not from lack of effort, they just happen.
That’s exactly why player’s seasonal reports and projections still matter and should take precedence in the evaluation process.
Don’t get me wrong some players will jump off the page, some won’t.
Showcase weekends are important, the competition is an important measuring stick, but it’s not everything.
Entering a showcase weekend, the quiet talent usually will appear, the subtle plays away from the puck, the two-way presence that the player possesses is all important.
Observing a kid play the game when they don’t have their “A Game” reveals a lot about their character and passion and love for the game.
You see that’s what some scouts will be looking for the most. The superficial or peripheral scouting just doesn’t cut it at these showcase weekends. Scouts will have to project and use their experience to identify the best players for their organization.
The best scouts and organizations will combine all of their reports on every player and have multiple discussions on players before jumping to any conclusions on their final draft board and rankings after the QMJHL Cup.
This is clearly not the end, this is just another step in the vetting process.
It’s best on best and the competition will be fierce, but it’s just another evaluation tool on the long journey to the draft.
How much more do they have to give? Well, we will all find out soon enough.
To all the players attending, play to your identity, usually less is more, think the game, move the puck quickly and skate even quicker. Take nothing for granted, embrace and enjoy the opportunity, but don’t let the pressure sabotage your style of play and most importantly have fun!