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on April 23, 2011
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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on April 22, 2011
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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on June 13, 2011
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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on June 10, 2013
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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on November 13, 2011
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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on July 21, 2011
Overall I think this was a good book. There is some great background info on the world of scouting with great anecdotes from people involved in the various stages of the process. It does get a little redundant at times but overall it is pretty solid. If you like hockey and always wanted to hear some of the behind the scenes stuff that goes into the process of determing who makes it to the NHL this book is for you.
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on September 27, 2015
Gives great behind the scenes look at the game of hockey. A must read for anyone who really loves the game.
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on November 15, 2014
This a well written and insightful book. It's great that character counts for so much.
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on April 15, 2011
Great book for anyone who wants a look inside the exclusive clubhouse of the NHL. Fans will learn to appreciate the players, their commitment, and the long road they traveled ot get where they are. Coaches, this is a must read! Every description of what the scouts are looking for will develop images of drills in your mind that will enhance the skills and the play of those you instruct.
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