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The Art of Scouting: How The Hockey Experts Really Watch The Game and Decide Who Makes It Hardcover – March 21, 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, 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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (March 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470681500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470681503
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,362,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By islebback on April 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At this time of the year, I become a prospect junkie, trying to read up on all the top prospects and all the ranking lists. In some cases, a prospects statistics belie the ranking that the experts give him, and I wanted to get an insight how scouts rank players. This book did little to help me understand what made certain prospects better than others.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TomB on April 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an ejoyable read to say the least, I always wanted to read something about the lives of hockey scouts so when I saw that this book came out, I buyed it immediately. I'll start with the good stuff - Part 3 "How to Tell Who's Got Game" deals with all the things that are looked for in a prospect. It's very detailed, very well described, I liked it a lot. Just one thing - for each characteristic, there is usually an example of a player, who does it right. However, sometimes it would be interesting to have a negative example as well. I'm thinking of prospects who failed to live up to the hype due to being poor in some part of the game, examples of elite players who lack in the particular skill etc.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott on June 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love listening to Shane Malloy on Sirius/XM Radio, so I was extraordinarily excited to buy this book. Unfortunately, it's not really a book, but a collection of quotes from scouts, thrown into some text. It's organized very poorly, and really doesn't give too much inside information, as the book suggests. It basically gives a very general overview to scouting and some hockey skills, and reads more like an essay than a book. If you're a scouting nerd as I am, I would still buy the book, but if you're casual fan who only reads hockey books every so often, I'd stay away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Bradley on June 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to find a book that detailed the processes NHL scouts go through in order to determine whether or not they want to draft a particular player. This book does just that. It takes you in the minds of the people who make those decisions, including what they look for, what is important, what isn't so vital, the way the job is done today versus the past, and so much more. It's been an invaluable resource for my research and has given me greater insight into the sport as both a fan and a reporter.
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I used to work in the NHL and I think that although this book provides many insights, it is longer than it needs to be. Part 1 has some useful information, but it could be much shorter. Part 2 has virtually no helpful information about how to scout ice hockey (which is what the book is supposed to be about). Part 3, which is over half of the book, has a lot of insights about what scouts look for, but even that could have been improved by cutting it down without reducing the number of helpful pointers about how to scout ice hockey. Significant editing could have made this book much shorter without cutting out any of the many insights on this topic. This would have greatly improved the book. Another way to view this is that I expected many more insights from a book of this size.
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