Earlier this season, at NHL.com, Mike Morreale spoke with a scout who described hockey sense as
“It’s knowing who to pick up in your own end and, when the other team has possession, knowing where to be and how to get yourself into the offensive zone … not standing still waiting for the pass.”
He added, “making good plays with and without the puck. It’s not trying to pass or force the puck up the middle when there’s nothing there. Now, guys will make mistakes. It’s going to happen at some time. If you consistently see a guy who is consistently doing something that is wrong, that kind of sends the red flags.”
Gordie Clark has said the most important thing he looks for in a prospect is hockey sense.
On hockey sense, Clark said in “The Art of Scouting” that when it comes to forwards, a 2 on 1 is an important play, “On a two-on-one, does the forward with the puck keep his head on a swivel, looking to set up his linemate while reading the defenceman? Does he look at the goalie to see if he’s cheating and then make an instant decision once he sees the opportunity? I watch if the forward knows how to read a defenceman’s stick and whether it is in the passing lanes or, if they are in an offensive situation, which way their toe caps are facing. Does the prospect give the impression of where they are passing the puck and does the whole building know where the puck is going?”