Throughout the season, many AAA and high school players are looking for the right home to continue their hockey career development. All the while each junior hockey team is looking for the right players for their program. To do that takes a very skilled and knowledgeable scout. The Aberdeen Wings are pleased to have Grattan on their staff.
Aberdeen Wings head scout and Director of Player Development Mike Grattan has taken on that role of finding, evaluating, and projecting those prospects for the next level. He sat down with the Wings coaches at their weekly radio show recently to talk about the process.
Q: How has joining the Aberdeen Wings hockey operations staff gone so far?
A: Travis, Francis, and myself have some experience together going through the process in other places including here. I think we are refining our process and we’re familiar with each other and our team. The direction that we’re trying to go, the players we’re looking for is well defined internally.
Q: While you are out scouting nationwide, what are you looking for in a player?
A: By the time you get to talking to a player you’ve already decided that he’s got the tools to play the game, so what we’re looking for is the right attitude. There are a lot of a good players, but we have got to find the right pieces that fit in our culture.
Q: What type of questions do potential recruits and prospects have about the Aberdeen Wings?
A: There’s a range of questions that we get, on the one hand I’m always surprised by what they already know and of course the age of information, all of the talking they do amongst each other.
Q: What is the biggest feature that the Aberdeen Wings offer to these prospects?
A: The trust that they have in the people they’ve met. Coach Anzalone, Coach Winter, and the Wings staff have put together a good presentation for the players.
Q: In addition to scouting, you are also Director of Player Development. Tell us about that.
A: When I’m not here I’m watching tape, or evaluating our players. We’re (coaching staff) on the phone everyday on a conference call and we meet with the players throughout the season on their individual goals.
Q: How do you prepare to sign players by tendering them, or evaluate players for the NAHL Entry Draft?
A: All season long you’re preparing a list, and we do a lot of work to project what we are going to need and where, and that leads you up to the draft.
For the remainder of the season and throughout the playoffs, Grattan will remain in Aberdeen to help the coaching staff in evaluation and game preparation. Following this season, the entire hockey operations staff will get back to work putting together next season’s team. The Aberdeen Wings Pre-Draft Evaluation Camp will be held May 23-25 at St. Thomas Arena in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. This camp is open to all free agents and untendered players looking to impress our staff. The 2014 NAHL Entry Draft will be held in June.