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Scout’s Evaluation: How essential is the High Prospects Recreation?

The annual CHL High Prospects Recreation goes Wednesday night time in Langley, BC.

A lot of the top-rated gamers from NHL Central Scouting’s mid-season North American list, who play in both the WHL, OHL, or QMJHL, are poised to indicate off their skills in entrance of all 32 NHL crew scouting staffs.

Listed below are some pre-game notes:

1. Connor Bedard will go No. 1 within the NHL draft. Nothing he does on this recreation will change his outlook.

2. Bedard is enjoying centre for the Regina Pats. He’s listed as a centreman for this recreation as nicely, however I’m curious to see if he finally ends up enjoying the wing on the NHL stage – like he did for Staff Canada on the world juniors.

3. Unlucky to see Andrew Cristall was injured this previous weekend enjoying for Kelowna (WHL). It might have been enjoyable to see Cristall, Bedard, and Zach Benson play collectively on this recreation. The three prospects performed spring hockey collectively rising up within the Vancouver space.

4. Benson’s hometown is Langley. He’s more likely to have the loudest cheering part on the recreation.

5. The WHL has been loaded with prospects this season. Bedard (Regina), Brayden Yager (Moose Jaw), Zach Benson (Winnipeg), Sam Honzek (Vancouver), Lukas Dragicevic (Tri-Metropolis) and Nate Danielson (Brandon) are all ranked inside the prime 13 skaters in North America.


I’m usually requested how scouts strategy this recreation. Can we penalize a participant for a poor efficiency? How a lot can we worth an elite recreation that exceeds expectations?

These prospects have earned their manner into this recreation primarily based on their physique of labor from the start of the season. So long as they play with self-discipline and compete, I’m not holding a singular sub-par efficiency in opposition to them long run.

Conversely, it’s good to see a prospect play to their strengths and thrive in a recreation like this. If a projected scorer goes off and has an enormous recreation – say a hat trick – it makes for a pleasant story and definitely a optimistic viewing.

If one other prospect, who additionally tasks to be a scorer, is held off the rating sheet however works to generate possibilities and contributes with dependable element and compete, it’s nonetheless a optimistic viewing.

Listed below are another issues to notice about this recreation, from a scout’s perspective:

1. It’s essential to come back out of this recreation with perspective, however these gamers will go away a mark (optimistic or damaging) with the GMs who’re in attendance. For that purpose alone, the sport does carry extra worth than most.

2. This recreation could be a little bit of a “entice” for the goalies relying on the depth and element supplied in entrance of them. There have been some prime prospect video games prior to now which have resembled non-contact all-star video games.

3. My message to gamers who play with a bodily edge throughout common season: This occasion may be thought of one in every of your job interviews earlier than being employed. Play to your strengths and don’t draw back from contact.


• Most NHL groups have accomplished their mid-season conferences and scouts at the moment are making ready their journey schedules for the stretch drive of the 2022-23 season. This recreation will affect how some scouts modify their future viewings. Scouting administrators, particularly, wish to see prospects reside and in-person forward of manufacturing their remaining draft lists. Lottery groups who usually know they won’t be making playoffs will likely be out in full power dissecting (particularly) the highest 4 rounds of the draft. It’s unattainable for a scouting director to have intimate data of each participant within the draft. Rounds 5, 6 and seven are the place regional scouts are closely relied upon to help with concentrating on future property.

• The CHL commerce deadline was accomplished on January 10. With rosters now set for potential playoff drives – or not – the variety of scheduled viewings ranges wildly and scouts could have probably lower than two months to finish their opinion on some prospects.

• Gamers who’re both eradicated from playoff rivalry, or their groups get bounced within the first spherical of CHL playoffs, turn into eligible for Staff Canada on the U18 World Championships. This 12 months’s match is being held in Basel and Porrentruy Switzerland from April 20-30.

• The mens’s World Championships are being hosted by each Finland and Latvia in Could. If Bedard isn’t competing in WHL playoffs with Regina, will he be a candidate to go well with up for Staff Canada’s senior crew? It may present a primary take a look at his affect versus males who’re enjoying professional.

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