By Rob Benneian
(LaSALLE, ON) – The LaSalle Vipers have added an up-and-comer to their off-ice staff with Andrew Sykes joining the team as a scout, general manager Bill Bowler announced yesterday.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity,” said Sykes. “I consider the LaSalle Vipers one of the top organizations in the GOJHL, not just in the success they’ve had in terms of wins, but the way Bill and his staff take in young players, work with them, and develop them towards reaching the next level, wherever it may be.”
Sykes, who grew up in nearby Oldcastle, founded the popular website Windsor-Essex Hockey Prospectus in 2012, where he posted detailed scouting reports focused on local talent.
“I was looking for a way to get into scouting, and I wanted to give added coverage to local players and teams who didn’t receive much attention,” he explained about starting his own scouting website.
He also works for TheScout.ca, an OHL draft website that scouts minor midget AAA players.
“We are going to rely on him to identify players, not just in this area but in Michigan and with the new import rules anywhere in the GOJHL,” Bowler said.
His responsibilities will include providing insight to the coaching staff during games as well as helping to identify future Vipers. He will also advise players on their post-junior hockey options including CIS and NCAA.
“Similar to finding hockey players, you’re always looking to gain an advantage and improve your team,” Bowler discussed bringing in an extra set of eyes. “Whether it’s coaches, scouts, or management you’re always trying to find good people and we think we’ve found one in Andrew. I know Andrew’s ultimate goal is to keep moving up the hockey ladder. Like most people, you have to start somewhere and we think it’s going to be a win-win for both parties.”