Focused Scouting is an approach to hockey analysis with a large emphasis on raw talent and the unteachable aspects of the sport. It is a manner of gauging future performance by evaluating current abilities and projecting evolution. This approach is used to dissect players’ performance, by separating facets of the game and evaluating their potential for improvement. As the sport is continually evolving, Focused Scouting identifies the defining abilities that must also evolve with it.
Focused Scouting evaluates a player’s hockey sense, reaction speed, tenacity, and decision-making while taking present day skillsets into account. This approach relies on indicators of innate ability to project potential for growth and improvement to a player’s skillset.
The key to successful projection is identifying the right combination of skill and potential. There is a balance that exists between hockey sense, and improvable skills, such as skating and shooting. While skills like puck control can be improved upon through practice, a strong hockey sense is harder to implement.
The Focused Scouting approach identifies optimal prospects by finding players who demonstrate the ideal balance between a strong grasp of the unteachable components of the sport complemented with good use of improvable skills.