Scouting in EHM is a bit of a mine field, learning how to read a scout report is a fairly important skill. And in all honesty you only need to read a very small portion of a player's scout report. About 80-90% of a scout report is just the game putting the numeric values of the shown attributes you can already see into words. It's there for people playing with hidden attributes and to flesh out the reports. What you need to worry about is figuring out a player's hidden attributes based on the scout report. There are a lot of hidden attributes, but the only ones you really care about as a manager are the following:Tier 1
TemperamentTier "I barely care about these"
Listed roughly in order of importance, why that order? I'll give a short (by my standards) explanation for each attribute:Consistency:
It can't grow, and if you want to be consistently good, having consistent players really helps out a lot. In the regular season it won't matter that much since it will pretty much even out over the 82 games. However playoff performance is based off both Consistency and Important Matches; and if you have a key player not show up 4 games in a row you might just be out of the playoffs.Offensive Role:
If a scoring player doesn't have a high enough Offensive role he won't ever be that massive scoring threat you hoped for when you drafted him, as far as I know it can't grow.Defensive Role:
Same as Off. Role but relating to defensive play, naturally. You can't really scout this, but a value of 17+ paired with 13+ in Decisions and you have a player who will farm Selke Trophies his entire career.Temperament:
In my findings the single best attribute in the game, the reason it's only ranked 4th here is that it can grow by playing in the playoffs. So it doesn't have to be high in a newly drafted player, but it helps. This relates to a player's ability to keep calm and collected and make the correct plays at any given point. The difference between a low Temperament player and a high Temperament player with all other attributes equal is the difference between a 0.5 PPG guy and a 1+ PPG guy in my experience using Swedish prospects that have all attributes except Temperament set in the 15-16 db for ~1700 hours worth of gameplay. It should be noted that a strong correlation between low aggression and high temperament exists, as well as a strong correlation between high Decisions and high Temperament. Also note that because EHM is a very well-programmed game the Temperament attribute can go above the cap of 20 with playoff growth. I've had multiple players with 21 Temperament, although never any with 22+.Pressure:
Helps players deal with high puck pressure teams and presumably is also quite helpful for high pressure situations like shootouts and special teams. If the player has the trait "poor Self-belief" in the "Report Card" view on the scout report. It means he's got low Pressure. It does not seem to be able to grow at all, but even a player with 7 Pressure can farm Selke Trophies throughout his career; Just make sure it isn't very low, and you're golden. I should mention that the scout snippet "excels under pressure" means 12+ Important Matches, not 12+ pressure... I've had very poor mileage using player with "poor self-belief" on special teams and above the 3rd line. So be aware of the risk that a player with that trait probably never should make it above your bottom 6 if you can help it.Decisions:
It's one of the more important attributes apart from Defensive role value for deciding how good a player does defensively, it also has a very strong correlation with Temperament. Frankly that correlation is a bigger part of why I look for the scout snippets about Decisions than the actual Decisions attribute itself. Pure offensive players can get away with low Decisions and it does seem to grow a bit with age. The higher it is the fewer stupid passes through your own slot to worry about, essentially. If you've ever wondered why your high Creativity and high Passing player has a sub 80% pass completion, low Decisions is generally why. A Rating of 12+ is pretty much a prerequisite for a Selke winner. A player only needs 11+ to be considered to have "above average" decisions for certain scout snippets, the other scout snippets for "high" values require 14+. The wording of the snippets do not make it obvious which are for 11+ and which are for 14+ at all. So I have a list of all of them later in this post.Professionalism:
This doesn't need to be high, it just needs to not be low. The thing you need to look for is the trait "Slack" in the "Report Card" view on the scout report. It means 1 Professionalism, the players with 1 Professionalism will often turn up to practice lacking fitness; they will lose attributes over summer since they don't properly show up for off-season training. They are just players you don't want to have to deal with. "Casual" is also low (probably 2-7, haven't looked into it closer) Professionalism. Note that if a player has high Professionalism their Determination and Work Rate can be very low without making them undraftable. Every time a player with high Professionalism has a Rating 5 game, just discipline them with an official warning for poor performance. The high Professionalism gives them a high chance to respond positively to this and have a very high chance to gain either Determination, Work Rate or both (Ambition also seems to have some effect on this, more testing needed). I had a player go from 10 in both attributes to 15 in both attributes in a single 52 game season doing that; It's completely imbalanced, and actually makes you feel a lot less bad about losses. Because (almost) every loss is a chance to give multiple players higher Determination and Work Rate. Once a player hits around 15 in both getting further gain from disciplining them becomes unlikely enough that you probably shouldn't waste your time on it any longer. The loss in morale isn't really worth it anymore at that point, at least not for me. Beware that disciplining the same player too much can cause them to simply terminate their contract in lower leagues, and demand a trade in the NHL.Loyalty:
Again, it doesn't need to be high, just if it's very low you'll end up with massive cap management issues when trying to hold on to them in longer saves. Trying to maintain a peak when all your Top 6 players want 11M$ a year deals just won't work. The trait "Fickle" and "Mercenary" are the ones to look out for in the "Report Card" view on the scout report. Ficke is 1 Loyalty, Mercenary is presumably high ambition and low loyalty; regardless it's bad for your cap management. (Edit:
based on further testing and talking to db researchers it doesn't seem like loyalty has an effect on contracts after all. But fickle and mercenary are still negative traits that you probably want to avoid, but they are not deal breakers by themselves)
So as you could see from the descriptions, most of these are either tied up in the same scout snippet (temp/dec), or on the "Report Card" view. This means that on any given skater, while looking at the default scout report view, you only look for two things: Consistency and Temperament/Decisions. That's it, every snippet that doesn't relate to those two are pretty much filler, they just tell you about attributes you could already see with your own two eyes or ones that are more Quality of Life improvements than key for in game performance. If a player has high Consistency the snippet relating to this will always be at the start of the scout report, there are very few things that can show up before it. If you play in 1920x1080 resolution it will always be on the first line of the scout report. If the player has low Consistency (7 or less) it will show up at the very end of the report where you have the snippet that reads "...needs to improve his consistency". The notes relating to Temperament/Decisions are generally in the last quarter or so of the report, depending on how long the report is there is some variance. But any snippet that talks about making good decisions with the puck, having patience, or straight up just having the word Temperament in them relate to above average/high Decisions*, which has a strong correlation with above average/high Temperament. There are also three traits that mean there is a high likelihood the player has good Temperament: Mellow, Relaxed and Strong Character; Strong Character is a high average of all the staff attributes (Professionalism, Determination, Pressure, Temperament, Loyalty, Sportmanship, Ambition), Mellow is 1 Aggression and Relaxed is 2-6 Aggression. If a player has both Mellow/Relaxed and Strong Character but no mention of Decisions in his scout snippets it's still highly likely he's got at least 10 Temperament, but maybe not quite enough Decisions to hit the 11/14 thresholds**. Note that since Mellow and Relaxed don't actually relate to Temperament, but rather to Aggression; You could just see it from the attribute screen, but since you'll be flipping through the scout reports to find all the other "clues" I personally find it more practical to look for Mellow/Relaxed in there.
* The exception to this rule being "confident with the puck, will find the right pass" which is just 12+ Passing, because consistent and logical wording is boring.
** In very rare cases a player will actually require 12/15 to get the snippets in his report instead. It happened with 2 players in my testing of ~20 players.
That leads me into a very important thing to know about scout reports, they can't directly lie in the scout snippets section; they can only lie by omission. For example you can have 10 scout reports on a skater, a single one has "...needs to improve his consistency" that means his Consistency is 7 or less, your other 9 scouts just missed it. On the flipside if a single scout says "...doesn't take shifts off" you know that player has 12+ Consistency, the other 9 scouts just missed it. If no scouts mention high Consistency or low Consistency this either means all scouts missed him being high/low Consistency. Or he's just in the 8-11 middle range that doesn't count as either. There is some risk involved in drafting those guys, but I personally still do it if they are good enough overall. In the "Report Card" view scout reports never lie, all scouts will give you all traits every time. That's why sometimes you can deduce that a player has high Temperament from Relaxed+Strong Character being there, even when all scouts missed it in the snippets in the default scouting view. Knowing this will save you so much time when scouting drafts, because if you see both the snippet for high Consistency and high Temperament in the first scout report, you don't need to read the other 9; you just need to scroll through them and look at the player comparison and which line they predict they'll play on to figure out roughly what PA
the player might have; You will also get a rough idea of what their Offensive and Defensive role values might be based on who they are being compared to, although that is very inexact. The general rule is if they are being compared to someone like Artemi Panarin, but expected to play on the 3rd line they probably have very good role values but not a lot of PA; Those guys make for excellent depth scorers. The other end of the spectrum being guys who are expected to turn into 1st line players by all your scouts, but have the player comparison be something like "a poor man's Dana Tyrell"; Players like that may have all the PA in the world, but such low role values they will never excel no matter how impressive their attribute screen may be.
We're going to use the guy going ranked 142th overall in my upcoming draft as an example of a player that has a fairly short scout report, but who ticks all the boxes:
This guy does have a lot of red flags too, and I'll get to those later, but first let's change how his scout report looks by dimming out all the things that are pointless filler:
"Is a strong blueline presence" tells us he's got 10+ in both Defensive Role and Offensive Role, "Brings his A-game every night" is one of many consistency related snippets (16 in this guy's case). "Is prepared to wait for an option" relates to Temperament or Decisions (17 and 13). Based on those three snippets we know he's got the hiddens to be a very good player for us. We don't actually know where in the 10-20 range his role values are though, but we'll get closer to that later on...
The next step is looking into his Injury proneness, it says "Prone to Injuries", but let's hop over to his history page and choose injuries from the view dropdown menu:
We can see that he's been out injured once in 3 years, unless a player has 1 injury per year or more it's no cause for concern. While we're here we will also take a look at his PIM, this guy has a fairly high aggression so there is a very real risk that his "dirtiness" attribute is high. And we can see that he was way beyond 1 PIM per game in the last full season he played. I play a style that pretty much aims to have all my players be Lady Byng candidates every season, so for me that makes this guy near undraftable. If he had high PIM with lower Aggression (<=11) I could just make him play a less Aggressive style by use of personal tactics, but since his Aggression is as high as it is (14) that's not a compelling option. But for the sake of the guide we continue, I'd stop here if I was just scouting him for myself.
I'm personally not a fan of the Stay-at-home defensive role, I prefer pointmen and offensive defensemen; but that's personal preference. So let's move on to the final part of scouting this player, what's his PA like? This is where we will need to flip through all the scout report on him quickly. I have 8-12 scouts on nothing but scouting the NHL draft all year round, so I have a good amount of opinions to be able to get an idea of what we're dealing with.Edit:
I've changed the way I scout PA to a much more reliable method based on feedback in this thread. So I'll have to use another player to show how I do this now.
These are his player comparisons (the "Latest scout opinions" is found under the "Notes & Stats" view in the scout report):
This gets a bit confusing as these belong to a completely different player, but regardless in this case we can see that every single scout says 1st line potential. And they liken him to a pretty good Top 6 guy, but often to a "poor man's" version. So we can assume that this player has the upside of a 1st line forward but is more likely a very good 2nd line forward. If it were for our defenseman earlier in this example it would have probably been #1-2 defenseman and being likened to a poor man's <insert top 2 defenseman>. And we could assume he's going to turn into a Top 4 defenseman, with the ability to play in the top pairing in the absence of a more clear cut top 2 guy.
I completely ignore the star ratings because they are so arbitrary they serve no real purpose. My favourite example in the 15-16db is that both Crosby and Burmistrov scout as 5 star players at the beginning of the game, that's how little star rating tells you. However the projection of which line your scouts think a player will end up on are quite good to give a ballpark value of their PA, and it's a lot more reliable than the star rating. If you're unsure about a prospect in a draft who has scouts saying anything from 1st liner to 4th liner; You should probably go into the "Notes & Stats" view in his scout report and count how many scout report entries there are that call him an "excellent" or "good" prospect. Sometimes a single "excellent" in 10+ reports can rub off on your scouts and cause several of them to call him a 1st liner, just as how a players can have 9 of 10 scout reports saying he's "excellent" and still have several 3rd/4th line entries for projected career role due to that single scout report rubbing off on multiple scouts. When you use these above methods to judge the probable PA of a player you get results that are in fact too reliable. It actually makes scouting in this game "too easy". In my most recent save every single Forward I drafted in the first 3 rounds had PA in the ~155-165 range, which is perfect for a top 6 forward. That level of consistency in drafting shouldn't be possible, but it is.
The final bit of information we need on this player is his mentals; the only thing we actually need to look at his attribute screen for:
the 6 in creativity is the bare minimum for a defensive minded player, and based on his mentals and the Stay-at-Home Defenceman role, that's what this player is. And his defensive mentals are very good. He's also got acceptable speed for a player of his role and age, you don't expect more than about 12 acc/speed from a generated defensive player in EHM. His technicals are obviously rubbish, but IF he's got high PA they will all grow by so much that it doesn't even matter. On the other end of the spectrum you have players with 120ish CA at draft day, so their technicals look amazing; then they cap out at 125 PA a few months later. So I put no real importance in a player's technicals on draft day. They are a very poor way of judging how good he may or may not become.
I will use my #56th Overall draft pick from 2 years ago to demonstrate just how pointless draft day technicals are, this is what he looked like on draft day:
and this is what he looks like 1 year later:
and again 2 years later:
Clearly his technicals (and physicals) look almost nothing like they did on draft day only 2 years after he was drafted; this is why I don't pay much attention to them. The only standout and important thing about his technicals was how incredibly well rounded they were; This meant that his potential upside was tremendous as the +2-3 to all technicals he'd gotten in the 1 year made him a very good well-rounded top 9 forward at age 19. By 2 years later he was a Top 6 forward; Had he only grown a tiny bit from draft day he would have still been a good 4th liner due to how well-rounded he was. But nothing in his attributes on draft day even hinted at how incredibly good he would become, which is why I could pick him up so late. The distribution of attributes between offensive and defensive attributes does however let you know the ratio of offensive role value to defensive role value; In Välisalmi's case I'd guess his offensive value is at most 1-2 higher than his defensive. We still don't know how high his role values are, but we do know that they are balanced; That's exactly what you want in a two-way forward. After looking him up with the DBeditor I can see his role values are actually 4 apart (13/17), but because he's got the "Defensive Forward" role it naturally favors Defensive attributes a bit more than Offensive ones, and it's causing him to look like his role values are more balanced than they actually are.
To speed the drafting process along I also apply a few filters: 10 determination, 7 work rate, 7 teamwork, 5 anticipation and 5 creativity (remove the creativity filter when looking for goalies). Anyone below that just won't make my team under any circumstances, someone that just hits the bare minimum also probably won't. But I still want to see them to not miss out on that one guy with god tier mentals except for his 5 anticipation as a pure defensive player. I then swap the view over to "Notes" and put in a short abbreviated note based on all the things we just scouted, so on draft day I don't need to look at players over and over, I can just read their note and know what they are all about. This player would just have "Too high PIM" in his note, but if that wasn't the case this is what it would look like:
Also keep in mind that it might be a good idea to lower the Determination and Work Rate to 6 on the filter when looking at the players in the first two rounds as a high Professionalism player with poor Determination and Work Rate can be "fixed" using "Official Warnings" over the course of his first few seasons in the NHL. However doing this for all rounds would simply take too much time. Since writing this I've actually slightly changed my methods for scouting drafts and the way I label players with notes to speed the process up further when using the Challenge rules specifically; Since it makes scouting the 1st round prior to the draft pointless as you won't have a pick until 30th anyways. But you'll probably want to find your own way of doing this part regardless.
and here's an example with how a full list of draft prospects becomes very quick and easy to view when you have the shorthand notes for all players of note, this one is using my new form of labeling that doesn't quite follow the same method as the above one.
I start by labeling all the abbreviations of snippets and traits of note the player has. Then if the players is Tiny/Small/Big/Huge I note that. Then I input the shorthand for Projected Role(Snippet about playstyle)Projected Line. I follow that up with the range of mentals, ignoring flair, aggression and influence. Then <Acceleration>,<Speed>ft. Then d/g/vg(decent/good/very good)<Technicals allocation>T. <PIM>i<Games>(Aggression). F/I/RI(fairly injury prone/injury prone/recurring injury)(<Injuries>i<Seasons>) giving me all I need to know without ever opening that player's profile.
After you have put on the filters I mentioned you'll end up with anything between 80-100 players per draft, I tend to only target 1-2 positions per draft; mostly to cut down the prospects I need to do this for to about 30-50 per year. It takes a while to do, and it gets pretty boring towards the end if you go from top to bottom. I suggest starting with the worst ranked players and working your way up. That way you start with some pretty boring players and get to end on seeing all the amazing top end talent, not to mention low ranked draft steals become more easily identified since you won't be jaded by the time you look at them. By doing this you will also know at roughly which points in the draft the players you want/need are supposed to go. This obviously means you are able to plan ahead and make trades to have draft picks for the players you want. I normally go through this process around when the transfer window opens in June. That way you can get the picks you need from the cap trades you have to make regardless, and you can go into the draft with a finished plan. It really pays off in the long run.Here is a list of scout snippets that relate to high (12+) consistency:
has excellent focus and concentration
a very consistent player
doesn't take shifts off
brings his A-game every night
rarely has a bad gameand for above average (11+) decisions:
displays a willing patience
has incredible patience with the puck
has patience with the puck
has the temperament to wait for the pass
is prepared to wait for an option
will wait for the right passand for high (14+) decisions:
displays top hockey smarts with the puck
doesn't make silly passes
is confident in possession of the puck
makes good decisions with the puck
makes smart decisions with the puck
makes smart plays
Note that none of the traits ended up being specifically tied to Temperament. However, it should be noted that not a single player I used for these tests had less than 10 Temperament. So a player having one of the decisions snippets has very strong correlation with above average/high temperament. A player with high decisions and low aggression is nearly guaranteed a high temperament.
also note that "confident with the puck, will find the right pass" despite essentially being "is confident in possession of the puck" reworded actually has nothing to do with Decisions. It's just 12+ Passing attribute with a very misleading wording.
Sadly a lot of the snippets that are connected to Work Rate read almost exactly as the ones for Consistency, making it really easy to mix them up. "doesn't take shifts off" is high Consistency, "gives his all every shift" is Work Rate. But they are just two ways of wording the exact same thing, which puts a needlessly large focus on memorizing the exact wording of snippets to be able to properly read a scout report.
And just to reiterate, the snippet about Consistency is always at the start, if they have low Consistency it's at the end lumped in with all the other "needs to improve ...". Temperament/Decisions is always roughly 3/4 through the report, it depends on a few things, but either around the end of the 2nd last row or the beginning of the last row of text when you play on 1920x1080 resolution. After a while you get quite fast at just flicking through scout reports with your eyes trained to only look in those spots and for those specific lines of text. I highly recommend only targeting 1-2 positions per draft year though, since doing this for all 200+ players in a draft takes 5+ hours. Not the most fun way to spend that time. I also limit the age range to 12-19 rather than 12-21, because the odds of getting a good over-aged player in EHM just isn't high enough to warrant the extra time spent. By a few years in there won't even be any over-aged players due to the difference in how over-aged players with variable PA set in the db develop compared to generated players. Essentially a premade 20+ year old in the db can be enough of a late bloomer that he's worth picking. A generated player never will be, it will be obvious what he's made of by age 19.
It's very hard to cover all of this in text, and I'm pretty sure I missed some things that I do without thinking about them. But if you're new to the game, or just struggling with drafting regardless, this should help you along a fair bit. Since it all just boils down to figuring out 2-3 hidden attributes and the player's PA the real trick is knowing that you can ignore almost everything on the scout screen. A final note of quite big importance, don't pay too much attention to the point production of a prospect in junior/europe. It's so different from the NHL, not to mention what you can get out of a player with personal tactics isn't even comparable to the horrible performances the AI gets from their players. The only thing I use the previous stats of a player for is this: to see if they are a scorer or a playmaker. Just look at their goal to assist ratio and how much they shoot, that will actually tell you something useful; and remember most goal-scorers will have much more assists than usual their first year at a new level of play, much like in real life. The only other time I'll take stats into account is if a player has a very low point production (0.3 PPG or less) AND have high ice time on that season, if it's a player that doesn't have any obvious clues to his role value or lacks a mention of Consistency; that can be a red flag that he has a low offensive role or a low Consistency value and your scouts just missed it.Edit:
I should note that there are a few player roles on the forward side that has some issues with not prioritizing Acceleration and Speed enough, even a 186 PA player (Ovechkin's regen) can only just hit 12 Acceleration and 14 or so speed with one of these roles. Meaning that generated players of the following roles are almost exclusively going to be "too slow" for the NHL (anything below 12 Acc/12 Spd is too slow in my book):
Power ForwardEdit 2:
Unless the stars align and players of these roles happen to generate with very high skating attributes (which essentially doesn't happen) they won't be able to hit NHL level skating, hence I try and avoid drafting players of these roles when I have the option. Grinder shows up as projected career role "Checking Foward", Power Forward obviously shows as "Power Forward" and finally Sniper(Physical) shows as "Goal-Scoring Forward"; Sadly there are a few other roles that also show as "Goal-Scoring Forward", the way to check for if they are indeed the (Physical) role is simple, look at their Acceleration, Speed and Hitting. High Hitting and low Acceleration+Speed means he's the physical role. These players aren't awful, but they are worse than a player with the same PA, Hiddens and another more favorable role. I should note that if you strike gold with a Power Forward who's actually fast and has a high Offensive role, they can be every bit as good as the "better" roles when it comes to the netfront role on powerplays as well as even strength point production. I'm still not a huge fan due to how high their PIM totals tend to be at the end of the season though.Edit 2:
The "Defensive(Physical)" role shows up as "Defensive Forward" in the projected career role, just as the normal "Defensive" role does, it's a bit harder to spot this one since both roles favor some hitting, but generally the "Defensive" role will have a Hitting value at about 2/3 of their Positioning/Checking value; the "Defensive(Physical)" will be close to a 1:1 ratio of the aforementioned attributes and with lower acceleration/speed of course. Due to the random aspect of generated players it is sometimes impossible to tell an oddball "Defensive" and a "Defensive(Physical)" apart on draft day.
If you come across a "Playmaking Forward" that has high hitting and low Acceleration/Speed you should probably avoid him like the plague, because that's the Playmaking(Physical) role, which in my opinion is one of the worst roles in the game. I had Auston Matthews roll that role, he couldn't hit 50 points with 184 PA; that's just pathetic. To see if it was the role's fault I tried changing him to the normal "Playmaking" role in the save editor, he instantly went from a mid 40s player to a mid 80s player. And this was with him already gaining attributes as if he was the physical role, so it's not necessarily the attribute spread that role gets that's bad (it suffers from similar skating issues as the other physical roles though). It seems more like there's something wrong with how it works in the simulation.Edit 3:
I was originally going to add an example of a "trap" player too. Someone that if you don't pay very close attention would seem like a very good player.
The player we will use for this is a German Center that looks like a future top 6 Center at a glance, but there are two things in his scout report that are massive red flags; one for any player, and one for a top 6 center. I'll let you try and spot them yourself based on what you hopefully have learned from this post, then I'll explain what my two major issues with this player are after the image:
The first issue, that's mainly an issue for a Top 6 Center is that he's got the "purely an attacking player" scout snippet for his role value, the upside of this is that his Offensive role is 17+ which is obviusly great. The issue with that snippet is that it also means that his defensive role value is less than 10, and we don't have any real idea by how much. We can guess it's probably 9 based on how relatively high his defensive technicals are. But if his off role and def role were both 10+ he'd have a scout snippet about being a two-way player no matter how high either of them is, a 10/20 Off/Def and a 20/10 Off/Def both have the two-way snippet. This isn't necessarily a deal-breaker at all if you have a two-way winger who covers for the purely offensive center, but it's not ideal since we can't use him on the penalty kill.
The actual deal-breaker here is that in the scout report by Mark Yannetti he has the "...need to improve his consistency" snippet at the end. Remembering that the scout snippets cannot directly lie we now know that his consistency is for a fact 7 or less. If it's actually exactly 7 he's still going to be mostly fine. But the issue is that we don't know, it could just as well be 1; that would be a huge issue for us, and had we not had enough scouts on the draft that one of them spotted it we might have thrown away a 2nd round pick for no good reason. Because this is from a draft 9 seasons in the past I can also follow up on him and see if his low consistency ended up being an issue in his career. By the age of 27 he's still never played more than 60 games in a season in the NHL and never broke 30 points despite being at 17+ offensive role value, he never even managed to get a 1PPG season in the AHL and has been traded around the league a bit without really breaking into the NHL team full-time for any organization he's played for. If we add in that Kopitar's regen was available after him in that year's draft you can see how big an impact missing that single line in a single scout report may have had on the franchise that drafted him over Kopitar 2.0.
This brings me to scouting setups, it will vary a lot depending on how you play the game. But I personally don't allow myself to trade for players at all, which means I have no need for scouting players who are already drafted. I do still have the 1 permanent scout on the NHL with "Intense" and "No Recommendation Updates", this gives me a full scout report on all active players (including my own) that's always mostly up to date. If you don't use "Intensive" you don't get a full scout report including the "Report Card" page with all the traits. I never use any setting but "Intensive" for any of my scouts. I also have another scout with the same settings on scouting the AHL with two slight adjustments; I have the age range set to 12-24 and the recommendation updates on "All 4-star and better", there isn't much reason for this other than me wanting to see how the prospects I didn't get in the draft are developing for their organizations. The permanent scout on the AHL also means I always have up to date scout reports on my own prospects in the minors. If you do allow yourself to trade for rights and make offer sheets to RFAs I'd suggest having 1 scout on the KHL and one of Scandinavia with the same settings as the AHL scout, this allows you to catch RFAs who are currently in Europe as well as unsigned prospects you may want to trade for. The remaining scouts (10-12 depending on if you use the aforementioned vulture scouts) will all be set to scout the NHL Entry Draft with "Intense", "No recommendation Updates" and the age range set to 12-19. Getting spammed with the updates all year long only serve to slow the game to a snail's pace, it's better to just let them all pile up and check it at the end of the season.
So what do I look for in scouts? When I look to sign scouts I set the filters to 10 Determination, 10 Adaptability, 3 Discipline and 15 Judging Potential. I then proceed to sign all the youngest scouts that live up to all of those criteria starting from the ones with the best Determination+Adaptability to the ones with the lowest, since those "mentals" won't grow as much over the course of the scout's career as their "technicals" in the form of Judging Player Potential will. Since all they're scouting is the draft I have a much lesser need for Judging Player Ability, as how good they are right now isn't really what I'm looking for. But any scout with 15+ Judging Potential will have close to that in Judging Ability too anyways. Why the 3 discipline you may ask? The reason is that scouts with 1 Discipline have had some pretty horrible track records with me. They kept saying that literally every single player they ever scouted was "like Daniel Sedin" even if it was a defensive checking forward. Scouts with 2 Discipline don't appear to have this issue, but since attributes do sometimes drop by 1 I want that extra 1 point of buffer; that's why I set it to 3 Discipline in the filter.
Hope this helps your future drafting endeavors, and don't be afraid to ask if something is unclear.