How do the Connecticut Oilers obtain the information they need to find the next Oilers hockey player?
The Oilers look at their recruitment process and make the best possible assessment of the players they choose to recruit for the organization at all levels.
“We ask ourselves: What methods can we use to get the information we need about the players? How can we enhance our existing recruitment process?” said Steven Brown, associate head coach of the Oilers EHL Premier team, and the Oilers’ Director of Organizational and Team Development.
The recruitment of players is becoming increasingly important for the organization, even though the Oilers continue to produce their own product.
“First, we find other people to use as references, such as scouts, coaches and former players. Secondly, we have interviews with players, both alone and with their parents,” Brown added.
“Often, when looking at players, you have to recruit a player with a great emphasis on the player’s hockey skills. That is, of course, incredibly important,” he said. “To get a better picture of the player that the organization wants to recruit, we gather as much information as possible about the player that is available, mainly in terms of the player’s character, academics, social skills and how aware the player is on the ice.”
The Oilers especially take into account four different attributes. Scouting of games and training sessions fulfills the assessment of hockey knowledge and skills. It is then mostly about “hockey sense,” skating, shooting, etc.
Character, the second attribute, is assessed through interviews with family, friends, past coaches and the player himself. The team can find out how he performs in training, competition and in groups.
Study of a player’s social environment with friends and his family dynamics helps determine another attribute, sociability. How will a player manage a possible relocation or adapt to a different way of doing schoolwork?
Possibly the most important attribute is awareness and specialization.
“It is about trying to find out how aware the player is and what it means to actually specialize and invest wholeheartedly in ice hockey,” said Brown.
After determining the best way to obtain reliable information on players outside the organization, the Oilers begin the process of reviewing the status among existing players within the Oilers organization.
From there, the Oilers follow players that match the attributes listed above. The staff watches these players at off-season tournaments and USA Hockey regional development camps.
The Oilers tryouts for the 2017-18 season will be on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23. Tryouts will take place at SoNo Ice House in Norwalk, Conn.
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