If you’ve been with us over the past year or so, you know that we’ve been working closely with International Scouting Services (ISS). ISS Hockey is at the top of the game in providing NHL Clubs with comprehensive information on hockey players all over the world. We recently caught up with Marc Lapointe of ISS Hockey. Marc is the new head scout for Quebec and will mostly be covering games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
“ISS gave me a first chance about 10 years ago when I started in hockey, so I really appreciate that,” said Lapointe. “Now I’m excited to be back. It’s an upcoming company and really well-known. I’m in charge of the Quebec province so I’m going to see some midget [hockey], but a lot of major junior and I’ll follow the NHL Draft much more.”
There are currently a few recent draft picks for the Nashville Predators that are products of the QMJHL in Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, Felix Girard and Tommy Veilleux. For those that may not know the QMJHL is part of the overall Canadian Hockey League (CHL) which also includes the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Western Hockey League (WHL). The leagues themselves produce NHL talent year in and year out.
“Right now it’s the weaker of the three leagues in terms of development in prospects,” said Lapointe on the QMJHL. “It used to produce a lot of goalies, but not so much anymore. The defensemen are kind of getting there so we’re hoping to produce pure defensemen in the next two years. It’s always been a lot of skill players and goalies, but every year is a new year so we’ll see what happens.”
Recently, the majority of the ISS Hockey staff attended the NHL Draft in Philadelphia where they were able to take in the festivities with prospects, organizations and more.
“It was a lot of fun, especially meeting new people and all,” said Lapointe. “Since we’re in the scouting services, we don’t do a lot of direct things, so we basically watch and analyze our lists. It was great to meet people and plan what we’re going to do in the next year.”
Scouting in any sport is something that is a mystery to many people. You may know what they do and how important their role is, but what exactly does it take to be one?
“I’ve always been told that the main quality of a hockey scout is to see a lot of things all at once,” said Lapointe. “You’ve got to be out there, see the games, know the players, get the contacts and all. You have to look at the basics: skating, skills, size, but the toughest part is judging hockey sense, which is becoming more important and teams are looking for it.”
Another important part of being a hockey scout is the ability to travel. Covering one province at least narrows it down, but it’ll still take dedication to travel to multiple cities and evaluate players.
“I live in Montreal, so it’s kind of close to other teams,” said Lapointe. “The rest are basically an hour or two away. It’s a lot of travel, but it’s a lot of fun. You get to do what you like.”
Since Lapointe has grown up with watching players coming out of the QMJHL, he had obviously watched new Junior Predators owner, JP Dumont in action.
“It’s kind of fun to see these guys after their career get really involved in hockey,” said Lapointe on Dumont. “All I’m hearing are good things about him. He had, of course, a really good career in the QMJHL and in the NHL, so it’s good to see him still be around hockey.”
We’ll continue to follow up with Marc Lapointe to see what players may be standing out in his eyes and to keeps tabs on Predators prospects. As always, for more information on hockey prospects, visit ISSHockey.com or follow them on Twitter @ISSHockey.