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Beating the Odds

I reference Gare Joyce’s book Future Greats and Heartbreaks in my last post, and I’m going to do it again here. Gare Joyce spent the 2006-07 season behind the scenes with the scouting staff of the Columbus Blue Jackets, flying to Europe and attending junior games all over North America. It’s a book of great interest to Oilers fans, given that the 2007 NHL Entry Draft featured three first-round picks, most notable Sam Gagner.

During his coverage of the 2007 World Juniors, Joyce notes that while many fans are under the impression that players are discovered at this tournament, it really isn’t the case. Largely, scouts attend to keep tabs on players their teams have drafted, and each year only a few draft-eligible players appear at the tournament. In 2007, four players stood out: Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk of the United States, and Sam Gagner and Kyle Alzner of Canada.

Here’s what Joyce had to say about Gagner at the start of the tournament (Read more...)