A few months ago I had a conversation with former AWHL and NAHL coach David Cole about changing the way that prospects are identified. We talked about what exactly coaches are looking for and what kind of system could be put in place to make the process sustainable and successful. Well folks, I think we got it.
Cole (along with partner Paul Ziter) created Checkmate Hockey Group with our combined vision in mind. A company made up of hockey professionals with the experience and insight needed to give prospects the ultimate vehicle for exposure and development.
What started out as a supplement to our own A-List of Hockey Prospect program has turned into a series of events that not only focuses on a prospects current abilities, but also on their individual potential. Events are more about the evaluation of a prospect's developmental potential than where they are at that particular moment. Is the player a National Hockey League prospect or just somebody that needs to focus on education and getting into a school that meets their vocational ambitions?
Checkmate is also getting high quality video from each of the events in order to utilize a network of likeminded coaches that will also evaluate the prospects using an intense scoring system and the videos.
All of the prospects that attend the events will be a part of JuniorHockey.com's A-List of Hockey Prospects while giving the hockey world a glimpse of the Checkmate Hockey Group's programs.
It is our stated goal to eliminate the need to attend multiple try-outs or to pay a premium to be seen by a limited selection of coaches. Checkmate's system aims to identify prospects with a series of birth-year specific events in multiple regions of the hockey world. These events will eventually become an annual necessity for developing prospects.
Are we going to change the game? In reality, I think we already have.
What do you think?