With the draft fast approaching, all the teams are pushing hard to finalize their scouting effort. In a draft were only 2 players are set apart from all the others, scouting will make all the difference in the end. The Wings are set to talk at the 9th position which is the highest pick they had for a long time. What's the strategy to make the most out of this new opportunity? Insider Ansar Khan interviewed the Wings' upper management about it.
"The amateur scouts and management spends the entire year on the road watching them play and certainly there's a lot of interviewing and due diligence that goes into the process prior to the combine," Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said. "You're interviewing coaches, you're interviewing teammates, you're interviewing billet families, strength coaches, opposing coaches.
"The hockey world is really small. You can learn a lot of information about players by talking to people. So, when you get to the Combine, hopefully you got a book on the player as it relates to his on-ice performance and you also have a book on the player in terms of his character and what makes him tick. Then you utilize your 15 minutes with them at the Combine to hopefully dig deeper and drill down on some issues the player may have."
The Combine is where you see players perform, understand their skills and physical capacities. However, the discussions you have with the players are the most important part of this event.
"I don't want to describe it as an intimidating environment, but it's a job interview of sorts," Martin said. "They're in a suit and there's six, seven or eight scouts and management sitting around. It can be an intimidating process, so you see how players handle that and you talk to them about their upbringing and their background, and if there's red flags that have come up through the year watching them, they can address those. It's really part of the due diligence process and it's a chance for us to learn more about them."
In the end, drafting is an imprecise science, but experience and thoughtful planning can go a long way!