Nachwuchsarbeit in Salzburg:
Ich schau mir da ab und zu Spiele an. Meine Meinung dazu mag seltsam sein vielleicht auch blamabel: Die jungen machen sehr viel richtig - sind gut auf den Eisen, verhalten sich taktisch richtig, halten Position, wirken austrainiert und diszipliniert, ich habe aber den Eindruck, daß die besonderen persönlichen Talente des Einzelnen, seine individuellen Stärken abgetötet wurden - es wirkt irgendwie roboterhaft.
(Bischen weit aus dem Fenster gelehnt)
This basically sums it up, and not just pertaining to Salzburg. Salzburg has its own problems. However, in the Austrian junior system players perceived to have greater technical competence are preferred heavily over those who are more creative or are better playmakers. It's paradoxical, sends the kids mixed messages. Coaches at the junior level will basically say all you need to do to stand out is be fast and hard working, a good kid, but then the same coaches when they're coaching/scouting the senior level will expect you to be making plays, and they should because it is required. However, you as an athlete probably come in with the same mentality to the pros that if I just skate fast and play hard I'll get looks. Not the way it works. I can't tell how many players I tell once they get to play up "be creative, try to make that huge move, look to make the big play." Coaches will never be impressed by you skating the puck quickly past the center line and then chucking it down the ice. Neither will scouts or agents. Speaking for myself, when I watch, I'm watching for playmaking abilities. Or forget my opinion. I've never had a conversation with an agent, scout, coach who said "I was really impressed by how few mistakes me made." That doesn't mean be haphazard, I've heard them complain about players who are that way quite a bit. However, especially if you're playing up, or against strong competition, you're expected to make some mistakes. That's fine, it can be corrected with practice. If you don't show that you can find a teammate to set up a shot, or beat a defender one-on-one, you're just not going to get a second look. People talk about how "this legio makes mistakes and doesn't get benched, this youngster makes one mistake and he gets benched", well true, but if you've got no upside then any downside is more downside than a coach is willing to risk. And if you are diminutive in size then it's only worse because you're likely a massive PK liability.