3 Things Scouts are Assessing
All serious hockey players need to consider how they present themselves to different scouting agencies. Evaluators are looking for the whole package; not players who shine in one single area.
To make sure you’re seen, you’ll need to continually refine your skills and strengths, character, and hockey sense. Keep reading to find out more.
Skills and Strength
You probably aren’t surprised to read that hockey scouts look at a player’s individual skills and strengths. Here are just some of the skills that will be ranked for each player:
- Defensive Tactics
- Offensive Tactics
There are also specific skills that are considered for each position. For example, goalies will be evaluated by their ability to minimize rebounds and battle them to make second saves.
The only way to get better is to practice, so find out what your weaknesses are, work on them, and play to your strengths.
Even extremely skilled players will get overlooked if they have a poor attitude. A player on any team needs to be exactly that—on the team.
Evaluators are looking for players who work well with their teammates. Ego will be the downfall of a team, so they’ll look for players who support their peers and make decisions that will help the entire team win.
This is measured by a player’s verbal communication on and off the ice, willingness to pass the puck, and their response when another team member mishandles a play.
Although it’s more difficult to rate, a hockey scout will also look for a player who is coachable. That means they take constructive criticism well and put it into practice. These are the players who grow and lead their teams by example.
You may have heard about hockey sense before. Gretzky, McDavid, and Crosby are just some of the players famous for this intangible skill. Hockey sense is the instinct to react throughout the game. Players with great hockey sense can anticipate other players’ moves before they even make them; helping them reach the puck faster than their counterparts.
Some people think that hockey sense is unteachable—you either have it or you don’t. We at Sports Evaluations disagree. Yes, some players have it come more naturally to them, but you can improve your own skill too.
Here are some ways you can hone your hockey sense:
- Don’t just watch the game… STUDY it.
- Keep practicing with others and participate in scrimmage games.
- Ask your team members why they made certain plays.