While wins and losses are important in Franchise Hockey Manager, your scouting department is going to be your bread and butter. I’ve never been the type of General Manager to throw large salaries at free agents, but instead like to build through the draft and use some of those chips in trades.
This guide will lay out everything you need to know to get your scouting department in tip-top shape. Doing that will give your team the best chances at finding a bonafide superstar and could yield surprises in later rounds.
FHM also has the ability to scout NHL teams as well. Maybe you’re looking to improve your team but you’re not sure what a team like Arizona has to offer. Scouting NHL teams in Franchise Hockey Manager will give you a better idea of what they have available and where their players’ ability and potential are.
Your Scouting Department
When you start your franchise, find your team name along the top and click on the drop-down menu. Look for scouts and you’ll be able to see all of your scouts.
Here you’ll find the names of your scout, age, their nationality, the region they specialize in, their current assignment, the duration of their current assignment and grades for ability and potential. This is where you’ll be able to make all of your decisions regarding your scouting department.
Managing Your Staff
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of scouting, looking over the type of scouts you have will be important to your success. If you don’t believe that your scouts are any good or meet your philosophy, you can fire them. To do this, you’ll want to head to staff, located next to your scouting tab.
Here you’ll see the entire staff of your franchise from owner to trainer. In this screen, you’ll right click on the scout (or any staff member below you) that you want to fire and click on release. A confirmation screen will pop up and asking if you want to release the scout and pay his salary.
If you’d like to hire staff you can click on the free agent tab and sort by position. It’s important to take heed of their reputation which can rank from unknown to well-known internationally. You’ll be able to craft an unknown reputation to well-known, but information may not come as plentiful as it will with a well-known scout.
You’re given a staff budget, use it.
My advice is to have about 20-30 scouts from varying regions of the world. While most of your prospects will come from the United States and Canada, Europe and “Rest of the World” regions are flush with very good talent. I’ve already found some great Russian prospects that I am targeting in the upcoming draft.
All of your scouts have a region that they’re comfortable in. Regions can vary to be as big as “Europe: Europe At Large” to specific states in the United States. Assigning jobs are simple. Right click on the scout you want and select “Assign Job”. This will bring up the assignment screen.
The assignment screen is where you’re going to tell your scout where to go. You can be as broad as possible by using a region or micromanage the scout by telling him leagues or even specific teams to scout.
The regions/leagues/teams that the scout will be more comfortable with will be in lime green. While you don’t have to stick to these areas, you’re going to get your scout’s maximum potential by sending him to these places. The reports you receive will come back more accurate than if you sent him to a region/league/team that he wasn’t familiar with.
After you decided you scout’s destination, you can assign their priorities. If you’re looking to stock your minor league teams with young talent, you can tell him to scout a range of birth years. You can also have him scout specific positions and if they’d be eligible for the NHL draft or if they would enter the league as a free agent.
Ability Vs Potential
When you’re deciding on potential versus ability, you should know what they mean in the world of FHM. FHM has a five-star rating system for both potential and ability with half a star (0.5) being the lowest and five stars (5.0) being the highest. Most of your players will range anywhere between two through four your special players being four and a half or five.
Ability is where the player’s skill level is currently at while potential is where the player could end up in the apex of his career. There are some caveats to this. Ability doesn’t mean the player will always be at his current rating and potential doesn’t mean he’s definitely going to hit that rating either. With the right amount of training, your 2.5 player could end up a three or even a four.
You’ll also know the true ability and potential of a player based on his scouting level. A player’s scouting level ranges from E to A with E meaning the player wasn’t scouted at all to A which tells you that a player is accurately scouted.
Your scouts will also be graded in both ability and potential as well. These ratings will range from very poor to excellent. Obviously, you’ll want to scout whichever category your scout has a better rating in. This is why I advise 25-30 scouts because you’ll want a good mix of regions and proficiency in potential and ability.
Quality vs Quantity
Lastly, you’ll want to figure out if you want your scouts to scout quality over quantity. This comes down to philosophy and where you are in your team building process. Is your pipeline devoid of many prospects? Go quantity. If you have a lot of players but are misses some really good prospects? Go quality.
Once you select the length of the assignment for your scout, you can also select how frequently you receive reports from them. Scouting reports will give you an overview of the players your scout has been focusing. When looking through the players, you may see an increased scouting level as well telling you that their attributes are more accurate than they were before the report came out.
Hopefully, with this guide you’ll be able to put together a scouting department that will have you set up for multiple Stanley Cups throughout your tenure.