About Us

Welcome to Priority Selection, an independent scouting agency dedicated to providing the most detailed scouting reports and rankings you'll find on Bantam aged players - in the OHL draft area, of course.

You might wonder why we would choose to cater our services to a 2001 age group that won't be eligible for the OHL Priority Selection until 2017, which is an excellent question indeed. The answer, in a nutshell, is that we're looking to provide information on a relatively new frontier.

Unlike our major junior friends to the west who draft directly out of Bantam, the 2001 age group is relatively unheralded in a region that is currently structured towards Minor Midget players, a notion that largely applies to the USHL Futures Draft which only has an occasional inclusion of a Bantam aged selection.

For organizations across the OHL and USHL to the NCAA's slew of successful programs, our intention for Priority Selection is to provide quality in-depth information that was previously unavailable on a scale such as this. While the primary methodology for our rankings will be predicated on the OHL Priority Selection, our content is designed to provide context for the NCAA route and the USHL path as well, which is an equally viable option for young players looking to take the next step in their hockey careers.

Where we scout

Our area of coverage extends to players who will be draft eligible for the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, primarily in the 2001 birth-year. You may wonder where these OHL-eligible players come from, as the Canadian Hockey League divies up Canadian provinces and American states between the three major junior leagues, so allow us to divulge for clarity:

Canada: Ontario

United States: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin

While the vast majority of draft eligible players play on teams within the region listed above, there are exceptions with players who have elected to go elsewhere to compete such as Floridian Luke Mylymok who currently plays for the Notre Dame Hounds Bantam AAA team in Saskatchewan, or Bedford, N.Y. native Trevor Zegras who plays with primarily QMJHL eligible players with the Connecticut-based Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers.

How we evaluate

Through a 20/80 scouting scale, tiered letter grades, and detailed write-ups, our goal at Priority Selection is to provide readers with comprehensive scouting reports on identified players and a discernible database they can use to quickly browse and filter reports as they so desire. Outlined below is additional detail on how we compile and composite our information into scouting reports on the site.

1. The 20/80 Scouting Scale

If you’re a fan of baseball, chances are you may have heard of the 20-80 scouting scale, a commonly used rating distribution that’s credited to Branch Rickey as its inventor. Baseball uber-site FanGraphs can provide you with some additional details (link that text to http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/scouting-explained-the-20-80-scouting-scale/) but the jist of it is that the scale is designed to provide objective tool grades to the sport’s most important areas of scouting.

At Priority Selection, we’re attempting to translate this type of scale over to hockey to provide additional depth to our rankings with tangible numbers to help our readers get a better idea for how a player stacks up to their peers in a number of different categories. As such, we’ve created our own 20-80 scale applicable to five tool categories specified for hockey. It should of course be noted that unlike baseball, hockey is a far more fluid game and as such, having an average or below-average evaluation in a particular tool category is not as detrimental to a player’s overall impact as say, a below-average hitting for average grade would be in baseball.

First, lets look what each of the grades translate into as a number in relation to the tier they correlate to:

GRADE SCALE (ATTRIBUTES)

80

Top Tier

70

Plus Plus

60

Plus

55

Fringe Above Average

50

Average

45

Fringe Below Average

40

Below Average

30

Well Below Average

20

Very Poor

Allow us to provide some additional context, identifying the tool categories we’ve selected for inclusion for the aforementioned number grades and accompanying definitions:

1. Skating: A subjective tool that includes a combination of top-end speed, acceleration and agility. This may also take into account lateral quickness for defense and the ability to skate with the puck for forwards, recognizing a premium placed on a player who can skate well in possession of the puck, rather than just skating well without it.

2. Shot: Factors in a player’s shot power and the quality of their release point. Other considerations may include a defenseman’s ability to get a shot through consistently from the point, or a forward’s ability to create their own shot.

3. Hockey IQ: A cachment category designed to rate a player’s intangible hockey sense and ability to make plays in relation to a baseline of their peers. This includes, but is not limited to: ability to make enticing passes; knowing when to shoot versus when to pass; offensive and defensive zone awareness; and their level of positioning on the ice. Unlike the other categories, this is an area where players will generally have consistently higher grade scale scores as the most intangible asset we evaluate.

4. Compete Level: Takes into consideration a player’s willingness to engage in puck battles; consistently give effort on every shift at each end of the ice; sacrifice their body when necessary; and make an impact each time their on the ice, regardless of whether they have the puck.

5. Physicality: Evaluates a player’s physical play and willingness to finish checks. Even smaller players can score well in this category if they’re willing to play a physical style of game, even if they might not be as effective as a larger player would in creating puck turnovers or high-scale hits when they deliver a check.

2. The Level Letter

To provide more articulation on prospect ‘tiers’ we have created a letter-grade system to rank the prospect’s overall level. Specific number rankings will be conveyed through our Mid-Term and Final rankings for the 2015-16 season, with these letter rankings serving as an interim guide to help readers understand which range a player slots into.

1. AAA: Ranked as a top-20 player
2. AA: Ranked as a top-40 player
3. A: Ranked as a top-100 player
4. B: Ranked as a top-200 player
5. C: Ranked as a potential late round draft pick (top 300 or undrafted)

3. The Write-up

As previously mentioned, the 20/80 scale and the grade letters are designed to provide readers with a quantifiable data set that can be used to highlight particular strengths and weaknesses of a player using a numerical data-set with assigned attribute correlations.

Of course, hockey is a fluid game that goes well beyond just subjetive numbers. It also includes subjective analysis which we hope to articulate through our player write-ups in order to give readers a full depiction of a player’s scouting report and potential analysis moving forward into their 2017 OHL draft year.

Who we are

If you're still with us, you might be curious to know just exactly who we are. Well, allow us the honour:

Scott Campbell

Six years in scouting and hockey operations with the Oshawa Generals and Sudbury Wolves were followed by a four-year stint working within an Agent/Advisory capacity, providing no shortage of interesting perspectives and experience on the hockey industry from more than a couple of angles. Scott is a graduate of the Sports Administration program at Laurentian University and subsequent graduate degree-holder from Indiana State (although he's not quite as talented on the hardcourt as fellow Sycamore alumni Larry Bird). Scott currently works as the Corporate Sales & Marketing Manager of Canlan Ice Sports' adult rec hockey brands and also teaches part-time in Durham College's Sports Management degree program.

Mike Kloepfer

A fellow alumnus of Laurentian University's Sports Administration program, Mike's background in the game also traces itself to the OHL where he served in an internship capacity with the Sudbury Wolves and Guelph Storm. Mike kick-started his professional career with MRX (now StadiumDigital) a digital platform organization that develops and services the network of Canadian Hockey League websites, among other clients. Mike currently works in Digital Advertising with Pelmorex Media Inc. where among other accomplishments, he's become somewhat handy at web design and database management. You can be the judge for yourself when you're browsing Priority Selection.