Swan River, MB – The life of a scout can be a demanding, yet rewarding profession. Scouts spend the majority of their evenings on computers or weekends away from home which leads to days away from families evaluating talent. But this career can be very rewarding, and for Darren Webster he has certainly found his calling with the Swan Valley Stampeders.
Growing up in Swan River, Manitoba Webster always knew he wanted to be apart of hockey, but it was a different form of passion that kept him interested in the game all these years, developing and scouting youth for the future.
Webster finished his minor hockey career in the valley and moved on to coach four years with Parkland Peewee AA’s, and then on to be the head coach of the Parkland Bantam AAA. His passion for the game continued through his coaching years as he travelled across Manitoba watching prospects and potential draft picks, who one day could become a Swan Valley Stampeder.
“I have scouted for the stamps for the past five seasons, and been head scout for the past four seasons,” said Webster. “That job involves managing the bantam draft and our 50 man protected list.”
Webster’s passion for the game was on full display this past season as he took over the sole Assistant Coaching position with the Swan Valley Stampeders. He continued to work with and develop the youth within the Stampeder Organization.
“Scouting entails watching a lot of bantam AAA games and midget games,” said Webster. “It’s not just about looking for skilled players but a lot of phone calls are made to players, coaches, and personal contacts I have established over the years to find out what the players character is like. Most important thing is, is if the player I am about to draft or list a good kid. Because he can have all the skill in the world but if he isn’t a good person then we won’t fit into the stampeder culture.”
His scouting has lead to players such as Linden McCorrister (Brandon Wheat Kings/WHL), Brian Harris (Edmonton Oil Kings/WHL), Dane Hirst, Brett Evans, Noah Basarab, and Matt Osadick who have all worn the Stampeder crest over the past five years.
“Darren spends many hours behind the scenes and his work doesn’t go unnoticed,” said Director of Marketing Cody Manchester. “The level of talent he brings to the Stampeder Organization each year continues to impress many fans, season ticket holders, sponsors, and spectators right across Manitoba.”
Scouting is one of the toughest jobs within any hockey organization, and Darren Webster continues to be up for the challenge.