Longtime NHL pro scout Scott Masters checks in with another insider piece on what it’s really like behind the scenes with how the league works. In this installment, Scott fills us in on what it’s really like at a team’s draft table. The NHL draft is next week, by the way. Scott has worked extensively in the NHL, for organizations such as Montreal, St. Louis and Florida. Follow Scott @scottmasters55 on Twitter. Scott is also the Founder and President of Core Hockey Advisors, a consulting company devoted to helping hockey players, at any age and level, know what it takes to get to that next level.
“You’re on the clock,” says NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. There has been one early surprise in the top 4 of the draft and teams now are scrambling to get to number 5. However, the fifth slot is held by the home team, the team hosting the draft, and the crowd of 18,0000 is getting excited. Chants start, cheering is becoming cacophonous and the in-house music is getting louder and louder.
The anticipation and excitement, however, is not helping the home team right now. They are looking to trade out of the fifth pick. There is a lot of demand for that pick, some great offers on the table. With the clock ticking, the GM picks up the phone to get the deal done with a team just two tables over. He cannot hear the other GM on the other line. It’s just too damn loud. If only he could pull a move like every home team quarterback on Sunday afternoon to quiet the crowd. But he cannot. He must tip his hand and walk to the table to hold the discussion.
“We have a deal as long as you don’t take our guy,” says the 5th pick holder. It’s a common phrase heard among general managers for trades at the NHL draft.