The Gang Scouts a Hockey Player

Evolving Hockey Staff | March 21, 2023

For Episode 70 of our podcast (below) all three of us, individually, scouted a game from rookie sensation Jack Quinn of the Buffalo Sabres. We spent the entire hour discussing our process, reviewing our notes, debating our evaluation, and pondering scouting in general.

Below you will find each of our individual scouting reports (in the order of Josh, Shawn, and Luke). Mind you: none of us are scouts, at all. Frankly, none of us have ever done anything like this before. The experiment here is to see how we, as “stats” people who like hockey, would approach scouting a player. Each of our reports were created from scratch. With possibly the exception of Luke, all of us had a great time doing this. If you enjoy this, we may make this a semi-regular thing. Be sure to check out the podcast episode linked below as well, where we go into much more detail about the entire process.

  • EH Staff


Josh’s Scouting Report


Game: Buffalo at Philadelphia. March 17, 2023.

Age: 21

Position: Forward / Right Wing

Line(s): Cozens, Greenway, Quinn. Played with Olofsson and Tage as well I think?

TOI: 14:09

Total shifts: 17

PP shifts: 3

Shots against: Idk like 5?

Game: Sabres lost 5-2. Very early deficit.

Usage: more defensive deployment at times, but on 2nd PP unit, no PK time. Forechecker, often the forward attacking defenders in their zone. Not often utilized as on-the-board-get-the-puck guy, but if in position for it will grind. Often high-forward waiting for zone exit while in defensive zone.



  • 1st shot: nice entry, faceoff dot distance directed a goal chest, maybe looking for a rebound from Olofsson, but too high
  • Nice follow-up on rebound chance ~ 5:54 in 3rd.


  • Honestly? Didn’t see a ton of passing from Quinn outside of neutral zone touch passes
  • Need more game footage to evaluate

Positional Awareness

  • 2nd shift, seemed quite aware, found open spots, broke out to home plate area.
  • Seems to find himself in good positions, at least when they present themselves

Play Driving

  • Seems ready for chances, but sometimes a little too ready.

Overall: not a lot of opportunities in this game. Seemed like majority of shifts were started on the fly. 3 powerplay shifts, seemed somewhat lost on PP. Not consistent usage on PP however, and last shift was w/ 1 minute left in game. A few shots, not much passing, but again very little offensive opportunities. Not necessarily his doing however.


Positional Awareness

  • Pretty good
  • Actually like his ability to identify when he’s needed, doesn’t over exert when unnecessary
  • Sometimes though, a little too aware, may miss step on quick plays (slightly behind on breakout 2nd GA)
  • 3rd 13:38 shift, caught out in defensive zone for a bit. OTF change occurred while teammates gave puck away, so forced to backtrack to own zone.
  • Especially when in own zone, a little slow with decisions. Seems as though he receives puck and thinks *a little* too long, which can get him in trouble or not find way to clear zone when there is an option.


  • Always involved, seemed very cognizant of play development. Knack for finding open areas of ice to potentially cut off passes or pressure players to make bad decision. But again, very limited sample here.
  • A+


  • Nice block
  • Good battle when in board position. But doesn’t seem to be the one asked to battle on boards.
  • Not really physical, but for him it seems that’s more because he’s not seeking physical play but rather efficiency.

Overall: not much happened while Quinn was on the ice from the other team, which is good. For his age, pretty rare to see a skater not caught out of position or unaware of situation. Despite score deficit, didn’t notice any difference in play. Positional awareness seems quite strong based on this game.


Zone Exits

  • A little too eager
  • He didn’t specifically target exits, may wait for teammates to exit.

Zone Entries

  • Seems generally ok, but maybe not asked to be the entry guy all the time? At least on powerplay

Neutral zone

  • Good quick pass to continue transitional play in the neutral zone
  • Head up, creative with options for advancing between zones. May not always work, but understand intent
  • Again, awareness is good

Overall: Liked, but not much happened. Maybe 2-3 memorable moments, a lot of NZ play was just changing on the fly.


  • 1st: Seemed a bit lost, a little puck watching, had an ok entry but not entirely sure of self
  • 2nd: Floating around a bit, but nice entry to establish zone, and seemed to be aware of a screen possibility on shot, which there was from Olofsson on goal. Got out of way.
  • 3rd: End of game, down by 4 w/ 1 minute left. Not in net-front, but along left boards.

Overall: A bit lacking, more floating and too aware.



  • Back skating good, walks blue line pretty well for forward
  • Really liked his efficency overall. Never working more than has too, but hustles when required. Could see him taking more minutes given ability to conserve.
  • Don’t know how to evaluate actual speed here. Idk he was average.


  • Kind of plays like a defensemen sometimes. More on perimeter.
  • Does seem like he’s looking for the breakout or for play to leave his own zone.

Being a good guy

  • Seems like a good guy

Final Thoughts: Not a particularly great game to scout Quinn. However, for age, positioning and awareness while on ice is noticeable (good way). Not much happened while Quinn was on ice, which again is good for defense here. Very efficient skater, ready at all times, head up, ability to identify play and developing changes. At times, a little too much thinking possibly. Powerplay was weak spot, but this could be system and teammates. Didn’t get a good gauge on teammate impact, passing overall, or his shot on its own given lack of chances.



Shawn’s Scouting Report


Jack Quinn, March 17, 2023

Creativity: 2/5

Defensive Transition: 2.5/5

Effort: 3/5

Offensive Transition: 2/5

Reliability: 3/5


Summary: Quinn’s game started off strong with a good offensive zone shift where he showed his ability to work in the cycle as well as a defensive couple of defensive zone shifts where he showed he was more than willing to do his job to get he puck back. Following a goal against and his team falling behind, his effort level and play dropped. Whenever he had the puck, he seemed to only be comfortable with it in his hip pocket and showed no skill of deception. A very vanilla game.

Shift 1: Missed a pass reception and found himself a bit out of position on regroup

Shift 2: Gets above the puck before receiving it in the offensive zone, walks to the middle point to make a play; searches to get open and provide support to teammates, doesn’t shy away from 1-on-1 in the offensive zone; recognizes cross-ice pass opportunities

(PP) Shift 3: Doesn’t handle pass reception cleanly but avoids forechecker, dirty entry attempt but follows it up with effort; correct get-and-push forward on entry attempt

Shift 4: Makes a physical play in the corner of his defensive zone to dislodge the puck; stays below the puck and is quick to recover the puck in the far corner after a teammate’s failed exit

Shift 5: Positioned well in the corner checking his surroundings and good stick position, blocked a shot and looked to recover, a bit of a lazy play to dump the puck out of the zone

Shift 6: Uneventful shift with a neutral zone regroup and he dumped the puck in to end the period

Shift 7: Strong effort on forecheck, recovers puck in the neutral zone and dumps the puck in, over-commits on the forecheck following the dump-in which leads to a 2-on-1 and goal against

Shift 8: Too far to the interior prevents him from getting to loose puck in defensive zone, caught flat-footed on neutral zone forecheck, good give-and-go in the neutral zone on entry

Shift 9: Plays the puck dep when interior was open when recovering the puck on the boards

Shift 10: Over commits to boards and requires support off of a defensive zone faceoff loss, weak effort coming back for the puck on a breakout

Shift 11: Leaves the zone but teammate can’t connect on stretch pass attempt

(PP) Shift 12: Can’t receive the puck in the neutral zone which leads to a dirty entry, keeps puck in his pocket the whole time on a controlled entry, a little dull I the bumper, potentially screens the goal

Shift 13: Might not have recognized his teammate on the forecheck, good pass reception in the neutral zone, controlled entry with a little push shot

Shift 14: Struggled to take the puck and breakout on his offside three times

Shift 15: Good work to keep up with rush despite starting from a flat foot facing the puck, turned the puck over at the blue line, couldn’t halt the opposing breakout as F3, finds himself a bit to slow and out of place on controlled entry leading to nothing

Shift 16: Was caught behind the play on the rush, good effort to help recover the puck down low with teammate, received puck off of an entry and took a shot with the puck in his pocket the whole time

Shift 17: Quiet on the flank without much going on



Luke’s Scouting Report


Pre-scout information / Initial Statistics:

Shift count: 17

TOI: 11.7 EV / 2.45 PP / 0 SH

EV CF %: 39.7% / EV xGF %: 26.7%

0 Goals / 0 Assists / 2 shots on goal (3 shot attempts)

1 Block / 1 Hit / 0 Takeaways / 0 Giveaways

Top Linemates (EV):

Cozens (69%) / Greenway (62%)

Olofsson (20%) / Thompson (15%)

Powerplay Deployment:

Quinn was utilized on the 2nd unit of Buffalo’s powerplay (with Olofsson, Mittelstadt, Krebs, and Power). In this game, Quinn had the highest total on-ice xGF (1.13) on the powerplay of any game he has played in this season. This resulted in 1 goal while he was on the ice during the powerplay.


1st period notes:

  • 1st shift: Nothing notable. Missed an outlet pass exiting the defensive zone, pass was iffy, but could have led to a potential rush.
  • 2nd shift: Most of shift spent in the offensive zone, he seemed to flow nicely with his linemates. Attempted a saucer pass from the left boards all the way to Olofsson on the right faceoff dot, but it was intercepted – this led to a 3-on-1 for PHI. Potentially should have been aware of teammates’ position when attempting this pass as he was the lowest player on the ice and teammates had been on the ice for almost a minute; however, it was a very nice interception by opponent.
  • 3rd shift (Powerplay): Had a nice entry that led to a potential scoring chance. Good mobility to get through PHI defense.
  • 4th shift: Spent mostly in defensive zone. Solid work along the boards to help win a board battle.
  • 5th shift: Spent in defensive zone. Quinn had a really nice blocked shot that forced D to dump puck. Followed up by clearing the puck without icing allowing a line change. Noticing Quinn is very involved in the defensive zone.
  • 6th shift: Nothing shift at the end of a period.

2nd period notes:

  • 7th shift: Transitional shift. Teammate missed a PHI blind pass up the boards which led to a 2-1 going the opposite way. Quinn defended just fine on the first chance, but a deflection off the back boards led to a goal by PHI. Quinn’s positioning appears to have been solid, anticipating an outlet on the right boards, but puck deflected slowly straight off the back boards.
  • 8th shift: Transitional shift. No real notable actions from any players. Quinn had a nice touch pass when going off for a change that resulted in a shot on goal for BUF.
  • 9th shift: Started in offensive zone. Quinn had nice skip pass along the boards and drove to the net, but Lyubushkin made poor decision to move into PHI players instead of passing up to Power on the left point. This resulted in loss of possession.
  • 10th shift: Spent in defensive zone. Was playing his zone on the top left side, but the puck was elsewhere. BUF cleared and Quinn changed.
  • 11th shift: Nothing shift. Quinn changed after an icing against PHI

3rd period notes:

  • 12th shift (Powerplay): Quinn had possession when making an easy entry to establish the zone. Made a nice play on the right boards back to Olofsson on the point to escape two PHI defenders. Quinn then established himself in the bumper position and had a nice moving screen of the PHI goaltender as Olofsson shot and scored. Very nice from Quinn.
  • 13th shift: (rather difficult as video kept freezing). Quinn was present on a semi-rush which led to him taking his first shot of the game. Shot was five-hole and goalie had to react quickly. No replay, difficult to analyze Quinn’s shot from only this shot on goal.
  • 14th shift: Defensive zone shift. Quinn received a tricky outlet pass while a PHI defender was ready to check him and let up. Two shots against, but not much notable about Quinn’s play in either direction.
  • 15th shift: Starts in defensive zone, attempts make tricksy pass back around PHI defender, but was broken up on entry. This resulted in icing against PHI. At end of shift, involved in decent attack that was defended well.
  • 16th shift: Stars in offensive zone with Thompson. Quinn did well in a board battle but Greenway’s subsequent pass was intercepted which resulted in a clear. Later, Quinn was in good position in the offensive zone, but Greenway messed up a pass and possession was lost.
  • 17th shift (Powerplay): Quinn was on low-left side of PP. Most action was at the point and on the right side. A flurry sequence happened on the right side which led to a penalty taken by PHI with 16 seconds left. The score is 5-1 PHI so this is just garbage time at this point.

Overall Notes:

  • Seems to have average speed and his skating ability appears to be solid.
  • Could not get a good judge of Quinn’s shot as he only took 2 shots.
  • He is very active in the defensive zone and appears to know his role well for his age when defending. I really liked his awareness in the d-zone and general involvement when defending.
  • A decent number of shifts appeared to involve teammates making poor decisions/actions which led to loss of possession (or inability to regain possession).
  • Kind of an unfortunate game to scout as Quinn appeared to be playing his role well (third line wing), but the puck was mostly elsewhere (which resulted in teammates handling play).
  • Overall, my impression is that his decision making is very good for his age. He appears to have a good read on upcoming plays and his positioning seems to be solid – or at least he was playing his role well.
  • His on-ice metrics from this game are rather misleading given the play of his teammates, in my opinion.
  • I would be very interested to watch several more games to get a better idea and see him more involved in the play (which was not really available to observe in this game).

Notes for podcast (not part of report):

  • This took about 1 ½ hours to watch and note.
  • ESPN+ kept pausing for a second which was very distracting
  • My eyes were tired after doing this lol
  • I kept looking at the score and it kept going up, but I didn’t see the goals lol
  • It’s hard to scout a single player when you don’t watch the full game, I think – If I had more time I would have watched the whole game and noted where the game state was at when Quinn started his shifts.
  • I would need multiple additional games to get a feel for Quinn. The majority of Quinn’s shifts happened when BUF was significantly behind.


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