The Canmore Eagles are pleased to announce the addition of Barry Sawchuk as the club’s new Head Scout and Director of Player Personnel.
Sawchuk, who resides in Calgary, brings over nine years of junior hockey scouting experience to the Eagles organization including scouting positions with the Okotoks Oilers, Kindersley Klippers and most recently, the Lloydminster Bobcats.
Jason Rycroft, who has held the Eagle’s Head Scout position for the past 13 years, will remain within the Eagle’s organization and will assume the title of Vice-President of Hockey Operations.
“Jason has three kids at home right now, has a full-time job, and just doesn’t have the spare time that it takes for this important role,” said Eagle’s Head Coach and General Manager Andrew Milne. “I can’t thank Jason enough for his efforts over the past decade to recruit both good hockey players and quality kids to Canmore. Jason has been a tireless worker and has been very committed to us. I’m thrilled that he has agreed to remain within our organization.”
“This transition should be an easy one for the Eagles as it was actually Jason’s idea that we recruit Barry for this position. They obviously visited a lot of the same rinks over the years and became good friends in the process. Barry has a lot of different contacts out there in the hockey world and he should also bring us plenty of new insights and different ideas. We look forward to having him join our team.”
For Sawchuk, watching junior hockey is primarily a labour of love.
“I probably watch at least seven games of hockey each week,” said Sawchuk. “When my own kids finished playing hockey and I retired, I kind of went into hockey withdrawal. My wife told me to get out of the house, so I picked up a scouting position with Okotoks, and the rest is history. I have time on my hands and I love being at the rink, so this is a perfect job for me. I am excited to be joining the Canmore Eagles organization and having Jason’s blessing, makes it all the better.”
When asked what he looks for in a potential Junior A player, Sawchuk is quick to point out three essential characteristics.
“How well does he skate, how hard does he compete, and does he have hockey smarts on the ice?” said Sawchuk.
Once he has identified a player with those characteristics, Sawchuk always follows another golden rule and that is direct communication with the player’s parents.
“I always seek out the parents first, before I even talk to the player,” said Sawchuk. “ I want to let the parents know that we are interested in their son and make sure that they are aware of the process going forward. I always want to be up front and honest about everything – communication is the key.”