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Future Greats and Heartbreaks: A Year Undercover in the Secret World of NHL Scouts Hardcover – Nov 20 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; 1st Edition edition (Nov. 20 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385664400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385664400
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #335,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Grguric on Jan. 19 2009
Format: Paperback
From the second I picked up this book I was hooked. Joyce intimately describes the year he spent following the game with regards to prospective players of the NHL. All access with the Blue Jackets during the 2006 draft to the U20's in Sweden to the junior games during the stretch run to the Memorial Cup the U18 tournament (the scouts mecca) and finally the 2007 draft in Columbus.

Each series of events is meticulously described but in a way that gets to the point quickly and keeps the flow of the story going.

Already fascinated by the junior process, this book gives insight into players lives leading up to the big day. I've never read anything that provides this level of access into a side of hockey that is shrouded in secrecy.

A must read for any hockey fan but especially for a junior hockey fan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A True Inside/Behind the Scenes View of Hockey Scouting and Drafts Dec 7 2007
By Sarah Weiler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you are a hockey fan, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It shows you what teams go through to get the best players, and what players go through to be selected.

Gare Joyce is a fantastic writer. He captures the inner workings of the hockey world like no one else, to date. I enjoyed this book from the preface through the acknowledgements.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very enjoyable Sept. 22 2009
By Kirk L. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who is involved with the NHL draft each year, I found the book to be extremely enjoyable, insightful and an essential guide to how NHL scouts operate and do their jobs.

Joyce spent myriad hours crafting this intimiate look at the much-lesser known side of professional sports and his stories and anecdotes are pure gold, especially his observations into the Columbus Blue Jackets war room prior to the 2006 draft.

Although controversial at times with his characterizations of USA Hockey (and there are a few small inaccuracies, but nothing that detracts from the work overall), I also believe that if the shoe fits, wear it. Unlike Team Canada, USA Hockey seems to subordinate itself to the whims, egos and self-absorption of some of its best players and their families. The fact that Canada has owned the World U-20 Championships since USA won its first and only gold in '04 tells me that Joyce is onto something, even if the truth may hurt a bit as an American and supporter of USA Hockey.

Anyway- he also appears to have been on the right track with Phil Kessel, who was recently traded to Toronto. The book is critical of Kessel and whether you agree or disagree with the assessment, Kessel is a fascinating and polarizing figure. It certainly provides some food for thought three years later, as the Wisconsin native and hockey phenom has left the Bruins for greener (about 27 million worth over five years) pastures.

If you are an NHL draft fan, this is the one book you should not be without.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wow Dec 8 2010
By canfan05 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really detailed explanation on the work done behind the scenes by scouts in the NHL. Great little detaisl about some prospects (Kessel, Brassard). Great book!
Walter Mitty as a scout Dec 11 2012
By WDX2BB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Here's one of the best parts of Gare Joyce's book, "Future Greats and Heartbreaks": It doesn't date.

In other words, you can read and enjoy it now just as much as you might have in 2007.

Canadian writer Joyce gets the hockey award for an audacious idea that he actually pulled off. He contacted several NHL teams in early 2006, asking for a chance to sit in during preparations for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Only one team had the nerve to accept the offer, as the Columbus Blue Jackets took him up on the idea.

So Joyce got to sit in during some organizational sessions and interviews as the Blue Jackets got ready for that June's draft. In fact, he even got to ask the prospects a question or two along the way. So he had plenty of information in his head when the Blue Jackets took Derick Brassard in the first round.

That sounds like a lengthy magazine article, but Joyce wanted more. So he maintained contact with the Blue Jackets' organization for the following year, and watched as much junior hockey as his other obligations allowed. That included a couple of trips to Europe, as well as snowy drives to places like Sudbury, Ontario.

With the advantage of a couple of years of hindsight, it's fun to read these initial reports on the stars of tomorrow. Patrick Kane, for example, looks like a top draft choice throughout the season. Indeed, he wound up going first overall (and has had fine years with the Chicago Blackhawks since then). Others bounce up and down the draft board like issues on the New York Stock Exchange.

Joyce also hangs out with scouts for teams throughout the league, trading information. These are the foot soldiers of hockey, trudging all over the country for little pay and a similar amount of job security. As many scouts discover each year, poor fortune by a team in the NHL can lead to a change at the top of management, which can lead to a housecleaning in scouting. It's a side of hockey rarely explored.

The story ends with the 2007 Entry Draft, as Jakub Voracek goes to the Blue Jackets (where he lands in the NHL another year later) and the rest of the class of '07 reaches not-necessarily-final destination. We won't know for a few more years how they all did, but some clues are out there already.

The one odd part about the book is Joyce's approach. While he probably wouldn't give up writing and reporting for scouting if given the choice, he certainly likes the idea of contributing to a team's fortunes. While Joyce gets credit for honesty, his public desires are a little awkward. The "frustrated jock" label is often hung on sports writers, usually unfairly, but this is the first time I've heard of a "frustrated scout."

Naturally, "Future Greats and Heartbreaks" won't appeal to those who have no interest in the draft. But those who do will be taken behind doors usually closed to them. For them, this is more than worth their time.
Very interesting read July 23 2012
By D. Roche - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting read and offered alot of insight into what goes into a draft prospect and how the scouts do what they do. Great insight on the 2007 Entry draft too.

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