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A Scout's Eye: Shift In View

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
A Scout's Eye is a blog written by Panthers Director of Amateur Scouting Scott Luce as he takes you behind the scenes of what a scout really goes through as they prepare for their big holiday, the NHL Entry Draft. Scouts are the reason for the home-grown product, those players that are drafted by the team and then make a huge difference for them.

Luce is in his seventh season with the Panthers, after joining the club's scouting staff on July 11, 2002. He oversees the club's amateur scouts and works closely with Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin, tracking prospects throughout the world.

Luce has been responsible for the Panthers drafting notable players such as Nathan Horton, Rostislav Olesz, David Booth, Michael Frolik, Michal Repik, Keaton Ellerby and Jacob Markstrom.

A Scout's Eye Archive

Well, we have just recently concluded our Mid Season Amateur Meetings in Toronto. We put together a list of 160 prospects that we will track for the remainder of the season. In addition to those 160, we have roughly 40 players of interest that we will continue to watch and make decisions on with each viewing our scouts have on these prospects.
The shift is now to quality coverage rather quantity as all of our scouts have seen the prospects in their region several times. We will focus on the prospects that we have the most interest in and watch them in back to back games and against higher caliber competition when possible. The tough part over the next few months is putting together a schedule that allows me to see all of our high end prospects of interest. High School and Prep Schools wrap up their schedule at the end of February with playoffs ending in early March. Next week I go to Europe for two key International tournaments which will help sort out the European list.
Upon returning from Europe, I will need to see the QMJHL, WHL, USHL, NCAA as well as the above mentioned High School playoffs. I am based in Ontario, so OHL and Tier 2 games are the easiest to schedule for me.
Our meetings were interesting given the fact of our current place in the standings. Being in the middle of the pack leads us to have a broader list of players to focus on as any subtle shift in the standings could significantly affect our draft position and therefore our coverage needs to allow for that.
There was lots of discussion on the High end prospects in this draft, but the bulk of our discussions came with players that we have ranked in the first round at this point in time.
Our drafted prospects have performed well to date. Markstrom, Dadonov and Rust all helped their development with their participation in the World Junior Championships. Our recently drafted Defensemen are putting up improved numbers and developing on schedule. Some early injuries have healed and other prospects are starting to get into mid season form as they prepare to enter the playoff push.
This is my favourite time to scout as you have so many different factors to juggle and keeping an eye on how the Big club is doing impacts all of those factors. Playoffs are just around the corner for several leagues and that is a great opportunity to gauge what these prospects are made of.
Will touch base again at the end of February.
Scott Luce
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