Wednesday, June 02, 2004


ISS - An independent voice in the NHL Scouting Community

Less than a year ago, ISS (International Scouting Services) joined with into an affiliation agreement of sorts.

Through, I've had the chance to work with ISS writing a couple of profiles (Boris Valabik and Ladislav Smid) and provide some editing services.

ISS is not as well known as Red Line Report, McKeen's, or the NHL's Central Scouting Service (CSS), but it has been growing rapidly and is quickly earning a name for itself. ISS provides quality scouting reports on prospects, with a differing point of view than the wonky CSS rankings can provide.
ISS hasn't been afraid to be different and make some ballsy calls (Ranking Brent Burns as a 2nd rounder last year when CSS ranked him 39th).

In the THN's Draft Preview Guide, ISS got a nice writeup in the DRAFT PRIMER section (page 53), and I'd like to plug this service just a little.

From THN's writeup:
Unlike those employed (and paid) by Central Scouting, the roughly 25 ISS scouts spread across North America and Europe are working mostly for the love of the game. With a few exceptions, ISS scouts get their expenses covered, but don't earn a salary. Most have full-time jobs, lawyers and teachers and high school principals among them.

MacInnis (Jes: Dennis MacInnis is the director of scouting) wouldn't disclose how many clients ISS has among NHL and CHL teams, but says the number has tripled from 2002-03 and ISS boasts a 100-percent renewal rate.

"It's all by word of mouth and networking and slowly our reputation is growing," he [MacInnis] said.

You can check our last year's draft guide here to see the kind of work they produce. I expect you will hear the name ISS more and more in the coming months, and I am sure NHL teams are using ISS as another quality source of information.

As hockey is such a subjective game, without the great and deep statistical measures that baseball has, quality scouting is crucial to success. It can be hard to get many viewings and different points on so many players, so there is room out there for quality scouting services such as ISS.

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