Reviewing the ISS (International Scounting Service’s) 2015 NHL Draft Guide


The most expensive guide on the market (by far), it (like Red Line Report) is an independent scouting service whose goal is not predicting where players are selected in the draft, but simply offering assessments of their talent (although their guide expresses none of this–in fact, there’s no mission statement or declaration of criteria in it at all).  For previous reviews go here, here and here.  Inexplicably they still segregate goaltenders in their own list (despite this not being how the draft works and the fact that no other guide does this).  In terms of accuracy here are their last three years (compared to Future Considerations, RLR, and Hockey Prospects, all of whom also predict the entire draft): 2014: 62% (4th), 2013: 65% (4th), 2012: 70% (4th), and 2011: 60% (2nd).  I used to include top-30 lists, but given their availability everywhere (eg here), I’ve omitted it.

ISS includes profiles of all 220 listed prospects (20 goalies plus 200 other players).  This is roughly equivalent to what FC offers.  Previous to this year the goalies were at least assigned an expected round (first, second, third, etc), but for some reason this year they are simply ranked against each other without any sentiment on when they will be selected.

In their mock draft they have Ottawa selecting Evgeny Svechnikov, which seems ludicrous as under Bryan Murray the Sens have drafted zero Russians since 2008.  There’s no organisational assessment or statement of team needs, although ISS claims the org likes what they see in the Russian.

The guide includes an irrelevant graph of draft success by team (I say irrelevant because it not only crosses over eras–cap and no-cap–but because it doesn’t account for changes in management and scouting staffs).  The “historical” charts by team are a bit more useful, but as they start in 2010 and (again) don’t account for the above factors, don’t really mean much.  There’s also a list of “sleepers” and “wild cards”.

There’s no reason to purchase this $99 USD guide–at nearly twice the cost of it’s nearest competitor (RLR) it needs to offer a lot more value to even be considered.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



  1. I love your work,wish you posted more often.just a couple of notes; the hockey writers draft guide, ” the next ones” is available on kindle for under three dollars.i find it on a par with the other guides at virtually no cost.
    Re; this draft,the third and fourth picks should be Barzal and Proforov,both far better than marner and my opinion,barzal willbe a superstar.

    • Appreciate the kind words! The draft is a lot of fun for me so I put a lot of time in it. I’ve used The Hockey Writers draft guide before, but at the time (2012 I think?) I wasn’t the impressed. Perhaps I should check it out again.

      There’s some debate in the guides over who will go where (I’ll get into that when I posted my prediction piece), but historically at least any player picked in the top-five is going to be at least excellent. None of the guides I’ve looked at, btw, have either Barzal or Proforov in the top-five, but that doesn’t mean they’re right.

  2. Do you ever do a mock draft in the 1st round?

  3. When are you going to be doing that?
    Also I really enjoy reading your blog. I appreciate your directness.

    • Thanks!

      I plan on getting it posted this week–I’m just not sure exactly which day yet

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