Attention: Scouts Wanted

Here at Hockey Graphs, we can be a little bit intimidating to some scouts, with our differences in approach.

Although our new additions will increase the amount of video analysis we have on this site, this is mostly an analytics site. Even though most, if not all of us, believe both stats and scouting can and should be combined to make decisions, we primarily focus on one aspect: the stats.

For players playing in juniors and in Europe, there is almost no data available besides simple box score stats like points and shots. Although we can form solid models on the little information we have available, we still need to blend in scouting. Scouts can evaluate a player’s skating, stick handling, shooting, positioning, among other things that are inputs into future production and strong advanced stats. The information obtained by scouts is vital to the drafting and signing process in order to fill in those blanks.

The goal for any person who applies math or science to sports management is to decrease human error. Scouts, like everyone, have many biases which need to be accounted for, and it is close to impossible to adjust for them. Even when people are made aware of their bias, they cannot overcome it. So it is alright to be a scout that tends to notice tall players first, we just need to find a way to adjust for that in order to get the fairest assessment.

If you are a scout for an NHL, CHL, or European team, or scout for a major agency (If you are in doubt, try anyway), I invite you to participate in a Hockey Graphs study on how scouts evaluate players. Your name will remain anonymous and the time taken on this study will be relatively short (est. 8 hours over two weeks time) and you will only need to be able to access a computer.

  • Participants will be asked to evaluate five players twice within a two week span.
  • All video will cut out all the play that the player is not on the ice for.
  • Participants will rate a players skills (passing, shooting, skating, etc.) on a scale of 1 to 10
  • Participants will turn in their notes each time they evaluate a player

After the two weeks are over, you will be briefed on the background to this experiment, our hypothesis, and other things. This will take place in July so that it will not conflict with the scouting season.

If you are interested, please fill out this form. If you have any questions, my DMs are open on Twitter @Shawnf1629.

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