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Eyes at the Draft

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Manager of Scouting and Player Information Jonathan Wall is in Columbus preparing for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Amongst the craziness of the event, he’s kindly agreed to share a few thoughts and show us a little bit about what it’s like in the life of a scout during the week.

Day one - Sunday:

The night before leaving for the draft is usually an uneasy one for me, there are usually so many things running through my head that it makes it difficult to get any sleep. This was compounded this year with the fact that we were traveling on an early flight to Chicago to connect into Columbus, and knew I needed to be up early.

With the first round of the draft being on a Friday this year, and the fact that it takes a full day to get to Columbus, we needed to leave on Sunday so we could get all of our meetings in before the draft. Even though we have been working towards this draft for over a year now, there are still a number of last minute things that need to be done before Friday, and we need all the time we can get.

The travel portion of the trip yesterday was actually quite easy even though we had to connect in Chicago. We had quite a bumpy ride from Vancouver to Chicago, with the turbulence, there were definitely a couple of white knuckle moments.

O’Hare is a massive airport, but it seemed to be running pretty smoothly that day, with the biggest crowds being the ones gathered around the televisions showing the final round of the US Open. The most interesting part of the airport that I saw (I only say maybe 10% of it) was a subterranean walkway that took us to the secondary terminal. As you can see by the pictures, it is quite a sight with the neon ceiling, and the curved glass walls. We returned to the aboveground world, and boarded our flight just as the leaders were on the 8th hole.

We were in Columbus about 90 minutes later.

The group from Vancouver (myself, Ron Delorme, Harold Snepsts, and Gary Lupul) met up with Thomas Gradin in Chicago, and then with Sergei Chibisov and Frank Kollar at the airport in Columbus. We then made the 15 minute or so trek to the hotel which is on the outskirts of Columbus in an area known as Easton.

I don’t really know how to adequately describe this area, but basically the developers built a planned commercial community from scratch in the middle of nowhere and the results are really impressive. The architecture is almost all the same throughout the entire area with the majority of building constructed from red brick with white trim. There are no residences in the area, just mainly hotels and businesses surrounding a massive shopping area. As I said, I cannot think of a great way to describe it, maybe an Ivy League campus might be best, but it really is a nice area.

Oh yeah, the other thing about Columbus it that it is really hot and humid; at 7 pm it was close to 30 degrees with really high humidity, with the forecast for Monday predicting temperatures close to 35.

Day two - Monday:

This morning we held a bit of an informational session just catching everyone up on the information that we have discovered since we last met.

We reviewed and analyzed the results from the NHL Combine and conducted a conference call with our Strength Coach; Roger Takahashi who helped us make better sense of the results. We reviewed all the players that we are going to interview and discussed some of the players who had serious injury concerns that needed to be followed up on.

We just took a break for lunch, and are going to start again from number one and compile our final final final list.
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