In November, 2011, NHL.com had an opportunity to join NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards on a trip through Western Canada not only to view a few of the top prospects eligible for the 2012 Draft but gain exclusive access to "Life as a Scout."
"We're getting paid to watch hockey. Does it get any better?" Edwards told NHL.com.
In a span of 72 hours, and beginning in Regina, Sask., NHL.com accompanied Edwards to gain an exclusive first-hand look at the process of scouting and what it entails.
Edwards will be one of several full-time scouts attending the final scouting meetings this weekend in Toronto, offering his assessment of those players he has witnessed over the course of the 2012-13 season.
The 42-year-old veteran scout started as a hockey official in the Canadian Tier 2 leagues before moving on to the Ontario Hockey League. His experience eventually landed him a job in the officiating department for the NHL 22 years ago. There, he began shooting videos of prospects and amateur referees before having a sit-down with veteran officials John D'Amico and Wally Harris, using the video as a training tool.
He eventually was offered a position in scouting 13 years ago.
"I don't know if people are aware of what scouts do when it comes to the daily 3-4 hour drive between games and through snowstorms … what we've gone through to get to a game," Edwards said. "I realize everyone fights through traffic to get to work in the morning, but I still remember a three-hour drive I took from Swift Current to Medicine Hat in minus-35 degree weather. There's absolutely nothing on the road, which is entirely straight with the exception of a curve here and there. If you hit a ditch and go off the road, it might take a while before someone might ever get to you."