HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > Prospects
Notices

Prospects Discuss hockey prospects from all over the world and the NHL Draft.

Scouting Defensemen

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
05-27-2013, 12:28 AM
  #1
vickpeterson
Registered User
 
vickpeterson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: HF
Posts: 446
vCash: 500
Scouting Defensemen

Usually (especially regular posters in this sub-forum) people watch junior games or AHL games or games in Europe to look specifically at a few players. I sometimes feel my judge on defensemen when I watch them is totally different from the general HF population. So my question to you guys is How do you scout a defenseman? What would you say you look for the most to judge a defenseman's potential?

Is it puck-moving ability?

Is it hockey IQ? And how would you define hockey IQ?

Is it physical traits like the ability to separate the player from the puck and blocking shots?

Is it offensive potential? The ability to control a game from the backend ala Karlsson or Subban?

And one last one, is your answer for the above question relativity the same as it is when you look at forwards? (for example, you feel like physical traits are the most important. You also feel that is an important trait for offensive players to have as well, so you look for that in them too. Granted, two different positions and different expectations for both)

vickpeterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-27-2013, 01:01 AM
  #2
dnicks17
Moderator
.
 
dnicks17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 15,595
vCash: 500
Hockey IQ is at the top of the list for me.

It's that innate sense of where to be, what to be doing and being able to do both of those things quickly and correctly even under pressure, imo.

Main place you can see it when a defenseman is dealing with the forecheck or dealing with pressure when trying to transition out the zone, I'd say.

I remember watching Brodin at the Ivan Hlinka(or maybe it was the u18s...I forget) a couple seasons ago and thinking he was going to be a great player. He was basically impossible to forecheck. He'd see it coming, spin away from it or make a quick pass.

Skating is a pretty big plus too. Using Brodin as an example again, it allows his feet to keep up with his head in order to elude forecheckers, defend the rush, etc.

dnicks17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-27-2013, 01:11 AM
  #3
Mathletic
Registered User
 
Mathletic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St-Augustin, Québec
Country: Canada
Posts: 11,825
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickpeterson View Post
Usually (especially regular posters in this sub-forum) people watch junior games or AHL games or games in Europe to look specifically at a few players. I sometimes feel my judge on defensemen when I watch them is totally different from the general HF population. So my question to you guys is How do you scout a defenseman? What would you say you look for the most to judge a defenseman's potential?

Is it puck-moving ability?

Is it hockey IQ? And how would you define hockey IQ?

Is it physical traits like the ability to separate the player from the puck and blocking shots?

Is it offensive potential? The ability to control a game from the backend ala Karlsson or Subban?

And one last one, is your answer for the above question relativity the same as it is when you look at forwards? (for example, you feel like physical traits are the most important. You also feel that is an important trait for offensive players to have as well, so you look for that in them too. Granted, two different positions and different expectations for both)
I'll give you my opinion, that said, I'm no scout. So take it for what it's worth.

Like anything, it's a bit of everything. The best players will generally be able to do many of those things at a high level. That said there are many situations in which d-man is asked to play. From EV to PP, PK for every situation there's many areas in which a player is asked to contribute. Typically teams will look to have 2-3 PMD, 1-2 big hitter(s), 2-3 mammoths.

On a skills level there are various checklists available that generally will include the following (from CSS):

- Skating: Acceleration, speed, balance, mobility, backward skating
- Puck Skills: Shot accuracy, shot strength, release quickness, multiple type shots, stickhandling abilities, puck protection, giving a pass, receiving a pass, scoring touch (moving in on the play)
- Competitiveness: Drive, work ethic, attitude, consistency, puck retrieval
- Physical play: Board play, physical presence, conditioning, hitting
- Hockey sense: Playmaking, anticipation, discipline, decision making, versatility, play under pressure
- Defensive play: Defensive anticipation, positioning, slot coverage, defensive reliability
- Psychological factors: leadership, communication, confidence

From that point on players can be clustered in 3 groups. Skilled/offensive d-men, reliable/stay-at-home d-men or a mix of the 2. Ultimately what I think is most important is having a mix of all those guys, not one in particular. Some of the above skills lend better to one type of d-men than others. From that point on, you can judge who is better compared to an average d-man at a specific set of skills (skilled/offensive or reliable/stay-at-home).

Generally I find that PMD, high IQ guys tend to be undervalued compared to big physical guys. My definition of IQ would simply be quickness at figuring out the optimal play (optimizing reward vs. risk) given a situation. It applies to both offense and defense. IMO you can get high IQ guys with low offensive output like MA Vlasic for example.

Physical play is more important for d-men than it is for forwards. The game simply lends itself to this. Forwards control the play and try to score while defensive players try to stop them.

Mathletic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-27-2013, 01:12 AM
  #4
17Kurri
Registered User
 
17Kurri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,262
vCash: 500
Hockey IQ, like it is for scouting any player, whether it's a fwd, a dman, or a goalie. Knowing how to play the game can make up for a lot of other deficiencies.

17Kurri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-27-2013, 02:35 AM
  #5
puckfan13
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,584
vCash: 500
Hockey IQ and instincts of course, but if you don't stick to that, your evaluations can go all over the place. Size/strength/physical abilities tend to be too much of a temptation for some people when evaluating d-men. It always has to come back to the question of, at the NHL level, can this d-man retrieve the puck from the corner in a split second with a 220 lb forechecker coming in on him and turn around and make a smart play to move the puck out of his zone as quickly and smartly as possible. You have to watch their reads, and their instincts. A lot of people say they focus on hockey IQ but then they get sucked into size and the next Zdeno Chara/Pronger/whoever - you really have to make it a point to stick to your guns on these things.

puckfan13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-27-2013, 02:42 AM
  #6
Mathletic
Registered User
 
Mathletic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St-Augustin, Québec
Country: Canada
Posts: 11,825
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by oilsp1ll View Post
A lot of people say they focus on hockey IQ but then they get sucked into size and the next Zdeno Chara/Pronger/whoever - you really have to make it a point to stick to your guns on these things.
Completely agree on this one. People will most often say they look for hockey IQ first but will fall for certain for the 6'4-220 guy.

Mathletic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-27-2013, 07:37 AM
  #7
DKQ
Generic User Title
 
DKQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Press Box
Country: Canada
Posts: 3,127
vCash: 500
I'm no scout, but the main two things I look for is how quickly they see the play (Hockey IQ) and how much of a net impact they make. When a Dman has the puck and is engineering a breakout, the very good ones will get it off their stick quickly and move the play the other direction without leaving much time for mistakes to occur. This to me is one of the most essential traits and is something that many teams who "struggle defensively" do not do well (Colorado, Philadelphia, Toronto). Other aspects would be effective pinching and effective use of lateral skating in the neutral and offensive zones. The net impact is a sort of qualitative stat where you weigh every mistake they make against every positive play. So a player like Karl Alzner may not make a whole ton of plays which contribute to his team scoring, but he doesn't make very many mistakes which contribute to the other team scoring, so his net impact is positive. A player like Ryan Murphy is the opposite, where at his best he is constantly generating scoring chances for his team, but also often allows scoring chances against, so his positive impact is more variable and he is a greater risk/reward. A team needs a mix of both types, since generating scoring chances is just as important as preventing them. I feel like the net impact is a good all-encompassing metric, because it takes into account variables like skating and physicality. Chara is an average to below average skater, but he doesn't allow very many scoring opportunities against. Nick Lidstrom never threw a hit in his life, but he also never made any kind of negative impact for his team.

Hope that wasn't too confusing

DKQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-27-2013, 07:42 AM
  #8
416Leafer
Registered User
 
416Leafer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5,565
vCash: 500
Hockey IQ.

All the top top defencemen in the league have it, at least the ones that play top minutes in all situations and excel in all situations.

What separates Phaneuf from Weber? They have a very similar skillset... Hockey IQ.

Are all the top top defenceman elite skaters? No. Are they all elite shooters? No. Etc. elite hockey IQ? Yes.

Its the biggest limiting factor that prevents a defenceman from being a true franchise guy. It can make up for other deficiencies

416Leafer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
05-27-2013, 08:29 AM
  #9
scoutman1
Twitter - scoutman33
 
scoutman1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Country: Canada
Posts: 2,483
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickpeterson View Post
Usually (especially regular posters in this sub-forum) people watch junior games or AHL games or games in Europe to look specifically at a few players. I sometimes feel my judge on defensemen when I watch them is totally different from the general HF population. So my question to you guys is How do you scout a defenseman? What would you say you look for the most to judge a defenseman's potential?

Is it puck-moving ability?

Is it hockey IQ? And how would you define hockey IQ?

Is it physical traits like the ability to separate the player from the puck and blocking shots?

Is it offensive potential? The ability to control a game from the backend ala Karlsson or Subban?

And one last one, is your answer for the above question relativity the same as it is when you look at forwards? (for example, you feel like physical traits are the most important. You also feel that is an important trait for offensive players to have as well, so you look for that in them too. Granted, two different positions and different expectations for both)
well as a scout myself what I look at is first what type of a defender is he so this is how I do it:

if he is a two way dman - how is his hockey sense in his own zone, how is his skating backward and forward, with and without the puck....how is his hockey sense with the puck, does he go out of position when in the offensive zone or is he positional, I will look at how accurate his passing is, if he keeps his shot down low from the blue line, how he pinches into the zone, does he use traffic to shoot in well from the point, hockey sense from the point, ability to read the play, his transition game I would hope is good.......but one of the main things to look for is raw ability, the problems he has are they teachable, are they something that with a little work he could explode into a star....hockey sense you can not really teach it is how a player reacts and thinks the game, you can improve it a bit but if a guy is making bone head plays and is always collapsing instead of taking his man chances are he probably will never learn

Defensive Dman - His hockey sense I look for to be really really really high, if this guy is not offering much in the offensive zone I want them to be great on defense, how is his positioning taking away passing lanes, is he smart about using his stick, when to rush his guy or when to play back, I want these guys to also be strong and personally I like them physical, I look at how they use their body for positioning and how they clear the front of the net, I also look how they pass the puck out of their zone, 1 crisp pass to a guy who is not covered is what you want to see....and if they have a good shot from the point and work the puck around well from the point that is gravy.

Offensive dman- not everyone likes a defender who is the 4th forward a lot, but you have to look at his skating, puck handling, passing ability, if he knows when to pinch and does he hurt his position if he does, you also have to look at when you have this guy on the ice you should have a good two way forward on the ice to take over the defensive duties, but you want to see a guy who is smart at being the forward and most times gets back to still play defense, you want them picking their times well and you want their skating to be elite for sure.

as you see hockey sense is the biggest thing to look for

scoutman1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:03 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. ©2014 All Rights Reserved.