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A Scout's Eye

A Scout's Eye: Hockey During The Summer

Thursday, 09.11.2008 / 5:58 PM ET / Blogs
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A Scout\'s Eye: Hockey During The Summer
A Scout's Eye is a blog written by Panthers Director of Amateur Scouting Scott Luce as he takes you behind the scenes of what a scout really goes through as they prepare for their big holiday, the NHL Entry Draft. Scouts are the reason for the home-grown product, those players that are drafted by the team and then make a huge difference for them.

Luce is in his fifth year with the Panthers, after joining the club's scouting staff on July 11, 2002. He oversees the club's amateur scouts and works closely with Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin, tracking prospects throughout the world.

Luce has been responsible for the Panthers drafting notable players such as Nathan Horton, Rostislav Olesz, David Booth, Michael Frolik, and Michal Repik.

Well, today the Rookies start to arrive in Toronto in preparation for the Rookie Tournament to be held in Kitchener this weekend. I will be driving to Toronto this afternoon to meet the players. 

This will signal the beginning of another long and hectic scouting season for myself and our staff. I will keep you posted on how things are unfolding in Kitchener. 
 
Reflecting back on the 2008 Draft, I am still excited how things unfolded for the organization in Ottawa. Heading into the draft with only 4 picks, we needed to catch a few breaks here and there in order to have a strong draft.  We were very fortunate to have Jacob Markstrom available at pick 31. Then trading up a few spots from the pick we acquired from Phoenix enabled us to add to our depth of a big smooth skating defensemen by the name of Colby Robak. Adding Adam Comrie in the 3rd round only added further Depth on the back end. AJ Jenks interviewed well with us at the Combine and when he was still available, we took him and brought a big forward into the system. Matt Bartkowski in the 7th allows us to have another collegiate D-man develop for a few extra years in the NCAA. He adds character and grit and will be used extensively at Ohio State starting this fall.
 
All in all, the Amateur Depth Chart now is the strongest it has been in some time. With a full affiliation in Rochester, our young prospects have more opportunity to earn the right to continue their development after their Junior / Collegiate careers.
 
At the end of July, I dusted off the laptop and headed back to Ottawa to attend the Canadian World Junior Camp. My focus was on John Tavares and Nazem Kadri. Tavares as most hockey fans know is the highly touted prospect for this upcoming Draft. Kadri was the only other draft eligible player at this Camp and both players played well and helped their stock heading into the season. For summer hockey, the level of play was high and quite passionate. This is the team to make if you are a Canadian Junior aged hockey player. Lots of intensity and skill, made for three days of quality coverage.
 
The start of August found me in Lake Placid for the USA World Junior Camp. Hockey USA brings in Sweden and Finland for this camp. Team White and Team Blue play each country twice. Lots of talent in this tournament and it was especially nice to see that we had four of our prospects at this camp. Markstrom from Sweden along with Rust, Jenks and Comrie. Throw in futures in Schroeder, Morin, Palmieri, Maxwell and the highly touted Swede Hedman, it was a great tournament to get an early look see at some of the high end prospects for the 2009 Draft.
 
Markstrom was rock solid in his two games. He stole his first game and then lost in a shoot out in his second start. The Swedes should contend for a Gold in Ottawa this Christmas. Rust is a returning player from last years team and played with his usual energy and smarts. Jenks was solid and actually was tied for second in scoring for Team USA behind only Van Riemsdyk. Hopefully this will give AJ lots of confidence heading into his 2008-09 season.  Comrie was a late addition due to some injuries. He did not look out of place and showed some offensive upside to go with his aggressive defending.
 
Canada, Sweden, USA and Russia should be the teams to beat in this years World Juniors. It will be an exciting tournament. With one day to unpack and pack again, I left Lake Placid for Bratislava, Slovakia and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. This tournament is the annual kickoff tournament for all of the U 18 National teams.Canada sends the best of their best to this tournament and if I recall correctly have only lost the tournament once maybe twice since its inception. USA sends a group of prospects that were in consideration for their U 18 National Development Program, so it is not their best squad. Other countries represented were Sweden, Finland, Czech and Slovak Republics, Russia and Switzerland.
 
Canada walked away with the tournament by beating Russia 6-3 in the Final Game. Sweden had an impressive group of prospects. Finland has a few guys of interest as well. At the conclusion of the tournament, we meet to determine our level of interest in each prospect. At that point, we go back and start putting our schedules together for the months of September, October and November.
 
All of the scouts are now getting ready to start their regional coverage.  They will identify the prospects of interest in their area.  It is time to start the process again and our staff is up to the task.
 
Scott Luce

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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