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Barzee ready to wrap his presents for Central Scouting

by Jack Barzee

Max Pacioretty was selected in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens, in part because of the reports Jack Barzee filed while scouting the USHL lasts season for NHL Central Scouting.
Well, we are getting late in the season and the playoffs are approaching for a lot of the players we are watching. I think what happens now is you are trying to see a few more games to see your kids and you’re tying bows and tidying up all the packages so you can present them at our Central Scouting meeting in Toronto at the end of the month.

This is a great time of year for scouts because the pressure is really on the players with the games meaning so much more. It allows you to see another dimension of a player and his game. You want to really see a player embrace this time of year.

Jack Barzee has been involved in hockey for more than 60 years and presently serves as the USHL and West high school scout for Central Scouting. Barzee played an integral role in the development and growth of the USHL, beginning with that league as a player in Waterloo. He later went on to coach, manage and own that franchise before starting another franchise in Dubuque, Iowa.

During his time in the USHL, Barzee was named Executive of the Year (1976-77), Coach of the Year (77-78, 80-81 and 82-83), and General Manager of the Year (1982-83).

For the past 23 years, Barzee has kept his eyes open for pro talent in the U.S. and Canada while scouting for NHL Central Scouting and the Washington Capitals.

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But it is also hard because we meet to make our final rankings at the end of March and the playoffs go deeper than that in a lot of our leagues. There will be some players that will have really good playoffs and we miss some of that and it won’t be reflected in our rankings.

Just this past week, I saw Lincoln and Omaha play In the United States Hockey League and they were fighting tooth-and-nail for a spot. When teams are playing like that and there is a lot on the line, there are a lot of intangibles you can pick up from the players involved in a game like that.

Like I said, this is a very busy time for us. You are starting to hit the wall a little bit and the tank is pretty close to empty, but there is still more to do.

With the meetings coming up, you are trying to write little profiles for each of your players and you make sure all of your game reports are up to date. Basically, it is just a case of dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s.

With all the profiles we write, sometimes it is hard to be original. When you see two players and they have the same ingredients to their game, how can you write about them and not be redundant? There is only so many ways to say that a guy is a good skater or whatever.

You just try to do the best you can. Sometimes when I write a game report or a profile, it just comes to me. I’ll read it again later and wonder if I actually wrote it, you know what I mean? Other times, I really struggle to get the right thing down.

I’ve seen a lot of players in the last little while, not only USHL kids, but a lot of Minnesota High School players. I’ll check in again in a few days with my thoughts on some of those players.

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