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Day 2 at NHL Central Scouting final meetings

by Mike G. Morreale /

11:35 a.m. -- So tough to update when you are completely entrenched in the dialogue taking place. Computer voting and hand votes are taking place with regularity right now as the scouts attempt to nail down the top six players in the final ranking. During those votes, a few scouts will make one last effort to push the player in their area.

High drama at its best!

While I cannot reveal the results of those votes, I can provide you with a peak into some of the round-table commentary:

--"NHL teams build up the middle, you need strength in that area."

--"There is no wrong choice here, boys."

--"Seth Jones was pulled all over the country this year and never missed a beat."

--"Both MacKinnon and Drouin, win or lose, wanted to make a difference and wanted the puck in every game."

--"Jones has never had a problem being on the big stage; he's seen that all his life and has shown it doesn't affect his game."

10:55 a.m. --
Fantastic debate on the order of the top three players on NHL Central Scouting's final rankings right now. It has begun.

10:30 a.m. --
The scouts are just now putting the finishing touches on the individual league lists, making tweaks here and there. I would imagine there will be a 15-minute coffee break soon before beginning the final ranking process, which combines all the skaters from all the leagues and will take up the rest of the day.

Central Scouting's Chris Bordeleau, who specializes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, had some interesting comments when I approached him to discuss Jonathan Drouin of Halifax.

When I told him that Drouin had written on his Central Scouting questionnaire that he would like to improve his play in the defensive zone, Bordeleau paused for a moment and told me the following:

"I find it funny when a skilled guy like that talks about his defensive play, because when he's on the ice he always has the puck, so he doesn't have to play defense," he said. "So why worry? There's so much over-coaching in today's hockey, including the NHL. When you have those skilled guys, just open the door and let them play."


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