(Image Source: EA Sports)
In NHL 19’s Franchise Mode, the scouting system has received a huge, and long overdue, revamp so that players can do more than merely scout one region at a time for a set number of weeks. Now, you get pro scouts and amateur scouts, 15 regions to scout for amateurs, and many ways to scout the players. This means you can now look for the next Russian superstar sniper, a top European defenseman, or just the best players coming out of Canada.
But, with so many options, it can take a while to learn all the options and the best ways to find top prospects through scouting. As an added incentive for players, there are many Elite low-level prospects and above hidden further down and outside of the top 50 in the Central Scouting rankings, meaning that if you scout well, you can be rewarded.
Here, we’re going to be focussing on scouting amateurs as pro scouting is very different and not entirely necessary for players not using the Fog of War setting. This method is based on the thinking that you want to get as much value out of the draft as you possibly can because you can trade high-value prospects for the pieces that your team needs – potentially with some bonus returns. If you wish to use the scouting to find a specific position to enhance your team, you can use the method detailed below, but hone the relevant options to seek the position of choice.
Step 1: Stack your scouting corps
Once you’ve set up your Franchise Mode game, one of the assignments that you should do on the very first day is fill up your scouting corps. To do this, move across to Team Management, then go to the Upgrade Your Team section and scroll down to Assign Scout.
In the scouting screen, you’ll find your list of scouts; some pro scouts and some amateur scouts. There are 15 amateur scouting regions, and you’ll want at least one amateur scout per region. You probably won’t have a scout per region when you set up, so using the button guide along the bottom, select 'Hire Scout'.
In the free agent scout screen, you’ll be able to sort by preferred region. For a new scout to keep you covered in a specific region, you’ll need to make sure that they’re familiar with the region. So, press R3 to view the scout and offer a contract to any that have an A or A+ rating in the region.
Once you’ve offered contracts to more amateur scouts, you’ll need to use the 'Advance Day' function from the main Franchise Mode screen to see if they accept your offer. Once they’re on board, you’ll usually need to send them to the right region. So, using the button guide along the bottom of the scouting screen, hover over the scout and push the button to move the scout. You’ll find yourself on the world map screen where you can select the region that you want the scout to move to. Once you’ve selected, it’ll take a day or two for them to arrive.
Step 2: Start scouting
If you don’t assign your scouts to a task, they’ll go about scouting somewhat randomly, which you can let them do until the season starts. But, once the pre-season finishes, you’ll see a prompt for you to assign your scouts. Select the 'Go To Assign Scout' button to get underway.
The first thing to do is sort your scouts by type. Next, select the scout and select 'Find Prospects'.
In the 'Scout Option' screen, you’ll be able to select the position, playing style, prospect quality, and duration of the assignment. At this early stage, and to try and find to most valuable players, set each scout in every region to 'Any position', 'Any playing style', 'Early 1st Round' prospect quality, and '4 Weeks' in duration, then 'Confirm Assignment'.
In four weeks, return to the 'Assign Scout' screen and do the same again but for 'Late 1st Round' in the prospect quality section and for '4 Weeks' in duration.
Step 3: Hone in on elite-level prospects
Eight weeks into the season, your scouts should have found a fair few potentially elite-level prospects. To hone in on the prospects that are definitely of elite potential, go into the 'View Draft Class' menu to see all prospects in the upcoming draft, which includes the findings of your scouting so far.
On the draft class page, sort the players by potential and take note of all of the players’ names and league (found just under their name in brackets when you scroll over them) whose potential currently reads as 'Elite', 'Top 6 high', or 'Top 4 high'.
Next, go back to the 'Assign Scout' screen and rather than instructing each scout to 'Find Prospect's, assign them each to 'Scout Specific Players'. On the 'Select Prospects' page, select each player on your list and add them to the 'Assigned Players' list with your staff scouting 'Potential and Comparison'.
Be sure to add all players from your list as well as plenty of others that rank highly in the CS Ranking until you have between ten and 15 players on the 'Assigned players' list, if possible.
Make sure that you come back to the scout once their assignment is completed (an 'Estimate Date' is shown under the 'Assigned Players' list on the scout page), to set them on their next task as soon as possible.
Repeat this process until, on the 'View Draft Class' screen, all prospects with top potential ratings are accurate (shown by the binoculars next to the potential being solid white with four bars). Then, do another 'Find Players' scouting assignment to unveil more high-potential prospects.
Check back on your scouts at the end of the season
When the re-sign period comes towards the end of the season, don’t just focus on your players. Go into the 'Assign Scout' menu, sort by contract years remaining, and re-sign any scouts that have zero years left and you want to keep on your books. On the other hand, on the first day of the new season, you could try and find a new and better scout.