Interview with Senators Amateur OHL/QMJHL/NCAA Scout Kyle Flanagan
Hi everyone. I know that none of you have missed me, but I have been preparing things. I had to wait to get permission to post this from a certain organization, but I got it! Hence...reading it...I also have more prospect jargon on the way. This is but a taste...and likely the most professional taste I have at the moment. The rest will be my opinion. We had this conversation at the end of the second period of the March 3rd 2019 game at TD Place in Ottawa. The 67's won 3-0 over Mississauga.
Adam - For those who do not know, you used to be a member of the Sens organization in a playing capacity. What was the biggest shift in moving to the scouting side?
Kyle - Not yelling at the top of my lungs when players do things I don't like. I was always vocal on the ice and I still try my best to vocalize what I think about players to our chief scouts.
Adam - I think the best way to start this conversation on prospects is to ask the most obvious question, are you here to watch Marco Rossi?
Kyle - I can’t tell you that, but he’s on our watch list. A player of his ability, this close to home is a must watch.
Adam - I get it completely. I kind of feel like if you are watching the 67’s, you’re watching Marco (Rossi). He’s pushing the narrative on the 2020 draft as well as anyone. A pick the Sens have.
Kyle - The local development of players is really important for the organization, we take scouting them as a very high profile mandate, as well as the Olympiques. Marco (Rossi) is a high talent individual and somebody everyone will be watching.
Adam - What do you like best about Marco Rossi’s abilities? Many people haven’t heard of him and really only know (Alexis) Lafrenière from the 2020 draft.
Kyle - There’s a lot to say. He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s a determined player. People see the size of 5’9 at 16 and think he’s small. He is, but he’s big in heart. He’s at the front of the net. He’s on your backside picking your pocket. He’s just an all-around fantastic player and a young man I can see taking the next step to a top-5 pick.
Adam - I agree completely. I love his work ethic and two-way ability that really shatters the “small” player narrative. Do you think he’s the type of player the Senators would target considering their need for a centre and/or defenseman going forward?
Kyle - It’s hard to say if he will be an NHL centreman considering his size; it’s something to look at. We feel very confident in young players like (Colin) White and Logan (Brown) to give size down the middle going forward, as we do Thomas (Chabot) and Max (Lajoie) on the backend. It would really depend on the draft position and where we are next season as an organization.
Adam - I don’t want to press this, as I’m sure you get asked these questions too often and aren’t at liberty to answer, but, (Jack) Hughes or (Brady) Tkachuk?
Kyle - No answer. One can put the other on the floor though.
Adam - Alright, one to Brady. (Andrei) Svech or (Brady) Tkachuk?
Kyle - Same answer.
Adam - No issues from me, I’ve been surprised by both in a positive/negative light.
Adam - Filip Gustavsson is a very strong goalie prospect, but we all know that is the ultimate wildcard. Are the Sens looking at goalies?
Kyle - We’re always looking. You always look for improvements and better players. Sometimes they fall into your lap or develop, other times you need to make a reach. I think the club is comfortable in the future with (Marcus) Högberg and (Filip) Gustavsson with the rebuild.
Adam - I don’t want to take up too much of your time as you’re on the job, but can you please let me know if there is a player you’ve seen play in the OHL that you feel deserves a “second” look.
Kyle - How so?
Adam - Sorry, a player who has been “overlooked,” or maybe a player who isn’t “Ranked correctly.”
Kyle - Go no further than here and now. (Graeme) Clarke is a young man who has a lot of upside if he can find consistency. His game is hard and heavy and he has a body to grow. He scores his goals like an NHL player and is a lot higher regarded than you may think.
Adam - So (Pierre) Dorion is taking him in the second this year?
Kyle - You’ll have to sit tight and wait.
Adam - Thanks so much for your time, I hope you enjoy the rest of the game.
Kyle - Cheers.
Thanks for reading. Sorry I don't have the audio, it's a mess. I had to transcribe this after the fact. The original plan was to just post it as an audio file. We were in the stands and there's too much background noise. I'm a season ticket holder of the 67's and will be trying to talk with other people. They are a team to watch this year and a lot of hockey people are showing up. Please let me know if you liked this content and if it's worth risking embarrassment again trying to talk to somebody.