The Art of Scouting: How The Hockey Experts Really Watch The Game and Decide Who Makes It Hardcover – Mar 28 2011
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From the Inside Flap
Learn to watch the game the way the scouts do
Millions of kids in North America and Europe dream of playing hockey at the elite level. Thousands will work their way up the ranks of the minor leagues. Only a handful will ever play a single game in the NHL, and fewer still will have a career. Much is determined by what talent scouts think of their abilities. So what sets the athletes who make it in the NHL apart from the rest? What makes a scout sit up and take notice? And who are they to judge these players anyway?
One of the first media personalities to be welcomed into the secretive scouting fraternity, Shane Malloy has been covering hockey prospects, scouting and player development for the past decade and brings to hockey fans an enlightening and fascinating narrative that explains the culture, history, art and science of hockey scouting. Through interviews with hockey experts and his own unique experience, Malloy delves into:
- The road to the NHL: The various leagues that players are developed in, their strengths and nuances
- The tools of the trade: How technology is advancing and affecting how scouts do their jobs
- The men in the corner of the rink: What the scouting fraternity is like, and stories from the road
- The life of a scout: Long hours spent watching young hockey players in lonely rinks, drinking bad coffee, travelling constantly, and gathering priceless information in a high-stakes game
- The Salary Cap Era: Why scouting and player development are more important than ever
- And what it takes: The skills and attributes scouts evaluate and look for in hockey players.
Fans will come to appreciate the intense amount of work and dedication that every scout in every NHL organization undertakes to find the players who will shape the league for years to come, learn how to watch the game the way the scouts do, and gain a whole new appreciation for the game we all love.
About the Author
Shane Malloy is a columnist and broadcaster who has been covering hockey prospects, scouting, and player development for the past decade. He is currently a co-host of Hockey Prospect Radio and Business of Hockey on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Home Ice 204). He is also a scout and consultant on the NHL video game for Electronic Arts. Previously he has been a columnist for Rogers Sportsnet, TSN, Fox Sports and NHL.com, along with being a feature columnist for Goalie News, CNN/SI, The Sporting News, CHL Prospects Magazine, and several NHL team websites.
Shane appears regularly on TV and radio to talk about hockey, prospects, and scouting, including TSN's Off the Record, Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown (on Sportsnet Radio FAN590 Toronto and heard across North America), and Sports Talk with Dan Russell, the longest running sports talk show in the country (on CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver).
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Top Customer Reviews
Written in a style that's a bit of a grind to wade through this book certainly has a limited scope of appeal but does contain some decent material gathered through some thorough research. For that I applaud the authors efforts.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book contains a bunch of personal reminiscences about which mentors influenced which scouts, generalities about hockey sense,individual instances of what some historical hockey prospects did to distinguish themselves, but I expected more. I expected more info on how the Combine influenced teams' internal rankings, what influence a team's biases and prospect pool influenced its drafting, the factors used to project a 17 year-old to what they would be 5-years later. How do scouts factor in bust potential? Do they check family history to be able to anticipate a future growth spurt? Why do some prospects start falling for no apparent reason? Much is unanswered, mostly a bunch of generalities.
I had previously read "Future Greats and Heartbreaks" by Gare Joyce,which also left me wanting more. That book had more insight into the 2006 draft specifically, more name-dropping and gossip, and it had an insider's view from one team's scouting department. But that book also contained a lot of filler which was focused on giving the reader an understanding of the life of the scout. I guess the perfect book on scouting with the idea of having the reader understand how prospects are ranked has yet to be written.
Other parts of the book are not as detailed as the third chapter and that's a pity, because I believe the author could focus a little more on hockey scouts day-to-day life and work. By far, the weakest part of the book for me was a chapter about influential scouts. It's true what the author notes elsewhere in the book - these men are responsible for critical decisions of the franchise, but they are largely unknown to the public. So it really doesn't do me any good to read unedited thoughts of guys I (mostly) don't know at all on another man I don't know anything about...It would be much better if there was at least always a short paragraph about each of the debated scouts, like whom they worked for, how long, did they convince the organization to make any late round pick that proved to be a gem and so on.
Still, I would recommend this book to anyone with deep interest in hockey, because it is a fascinating part of the game and you won't find a lot of books on this topic on the market.