Scouting has always been the back bone of every successful hockey team. In the salary cap era it is even more important than ever. Yet it remains quite secretive and almost universally under-appreciated by virtually everybody in hockey, especially the fans.
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Malloy offers us a sneak peak into the world of scouting, gathering insider information from dozens of current and former hockey scouts. We get to learn how the scouts watch the game, and more importantly, what they are looking for to determine whether they believe certain players are prospects or not.
He does by gathering quotes and opinions from some of the game's very best scouts. He focuses on 10 specific hockey traits and dedicates a full chapter to each one: Hockey sense, skating, puck skill and movement, shooting, the physical game, the defensive game, goalies, defensemen and forwards, and intangibles. He also gives us an inside look into prospect meeting and the psychology of it all.
In the opening chapters the author also provides some great reading in his look into the anything-but-glamorous life of a scout.
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. He has previously written for Rogers Sportsnet, TSN, Fox Sports and NHL.com, along with being a feature columnist for Goalie News, CNN/SI, The Sporting News, CHL Prospects Magazine, and several NHL team websites.
This is actually a pretty fascinating look inside one of hockey's most secretive worlds. Hardcore hockey fans will definitely want to consider purchasing Shane Malloy's The Art of Scouting: How The Hockey Experts Really Watch The Game and Decide Who Makes It.
The book, which features a foreword from Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, is published by Wiley in March 2011.