Coming soon: finally an app for hockey scouts, players, and their parents
By Ed Palumbo
The Story Behind Prospective Hockey Central
Having grown up in New Jersey in the ‘90s, I was just a fan of hockey. Watching games on TV, I would write the names, numbers and positions of every player on the ice. I even built my own rosters of players I liked most and acted as a play-by-play announcer in my bedroom:
“Now Gretzky comes on, centering
the second line with Paul Kariya and Stephane Richer on his wings.”
(Gretzky must have had a rare bad game when I wrote down that lineup.)
It wasn’t until the sixth grade—a year after we moved to Pennsylvania—that I started playing hockey. Yet by the time I reached high school in the early 2000s, it became clear that nobody from Central PA was going pro. (The only minor success story I knew of was the local rink owner’s son played Division I at Princeton.) We saw ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) and NCAA Division III jackets at the rink, but not often—and certainly not to watch games I played in.
I wanted to be one of those guys.
After graduating college, I took an online hockey scouting certification course through Sports Management Worldwide, taught by former Boston Bruins GM Harry Sinden and the Peterborough Petes’ Director of Player Personnel, Mike Oke. This course taught me everything I needed to know in order to get my foot in the door among the hockey scouts.
Over the next six years I regularly attended games, filling out reports by hand before returning home to enter them into a spreadsheet, and then send the report to my director. There has got to be another way to do this, I thought, so I began searching for alternatives. But nothing was the right fit, or it was simply unaffordable for me or the teams I scouted for.
Prospective Hockey Central is Born
When development on the app began, the original intent was to create something for hockey scouts of all levels of the game; something they could use to help keep them organized, and to keep their eyes off the notepad and on the ice. Maybe even something to find more games to attend and players to watch.
Then I thought back to my youth hockey days in Central PA. How can we help those players who don’t get the attention of hockey scouts due to geographic location or assumed lack of high-level competition? What if there are kids in these areas that are good enough, but haven’t had the chance to show anyone?
So we built a mobile app for hockey scouts who wanted something different, for the players looking to reach the next stage in their career, and for their parents who spend countless hours driving and thousands of dollars on gas, meals, equipment, league fees, etc.
The Prospective Hockey Central app that will soon be launched won’t be the finished product. That’s because we have many ideas and plans to implement, and promise to keep improving it. This is our effort to connect the hockey community. This is my way of giving back to it.
Ed Palumbo is the founder of Prospective Hockey Central. Coming soon to the App Store and Google Play. Visit prospectivehc.com for more information.