The Penguins shared a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on during the team's scouting meetings leading up to this week's NHL draft.
Behind the Scenes: Penguins Scouting Meetings
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 17, 2019
Present for the meetings are Jim Rutherford and Bill Guerin, along with director of player development Scott Young, director of amateur scouting Patrik Allvin, and all of the Penguins' amateur and European scouts. You can read more about each of the Penguins' individual scouts and their roles here.
Development coaches Tom Kostopoulos and Andy Chiodo also do some scouting work and take part in the meetings. Sam Ventura takes part as the Penguins' director of hockey research. His role is to provide "a quantitative perspective on hockey operations decisions, including player acquisition and on-ice strategy."
"We're coming off a season where it ended where we were very disappointed," Rutherford says to open the meeting. "But we did have a 100-point season. Because of that, we're going to retool our team a little bit. We're not going to start into a rebuild. I feel that there's still an opportunity here to win a Cup.
"We have our first-round pick now, which is a little different from other years," Rutherford continued. "So that's exciting. We'll have a good few days here and debate where all these guys are going to end up on our list. You have to be prepared for anything."
The meetings are a culmination of well over a year of scouting this year's draft class. The Penguins' scouts all work in their specialized regions throughout the year, anywhere from all of Swedish junior hockey or European professional leagues to a Canadian junior league like the QMJHL. Scouts spend the year interviewing players, watching them practice and play games, and speaking to their coaches, teammates, teachers or even billet families. In some cases, meeting the players' parents can provide important information.
"If a player is 150 pounds and 5-10, you want to see how the mom and dad look, see if there's (potential) growth down the road," Allvin told the Penguins' website
"We want to know everything," Allvin said. "I don't want any surprises after we draft a player. We want to know as much as possible."
The scouts write their individual reports for draft-eligible players, and Allvin leads the task of compiling a final draft board.
"That's the biggest challenge, getting the players in the right order," Allvin said of creating the final rankings. "It's tough, because you see a lot of passion from each area scout. They've been following those players, some of them for two years. And they've done their due diligence and you respect it. So it's my job and (crossover scout) Colin Alexander's job to get it in the right order here."
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