The day started just like any other day.
General manager Dave Brown, Scott Grieve and the scouting staff went on their usual trip up north to scout in advance of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. With word going around that the draft was still going to take place, the Otters were taking their normal preparations to make sure they were ready for the big day.
But this trip was different. While Brown was diligently scouting for the next great talent to come to the Otters, Grieve noticed something. He saw this girl scouting at the game. Then later on in a different building, they saw her again. At this point, the Otters were wondering who was this girl? She caught Grieve’s eye. It turned out she was Kiana Scott and what happened next made OHL history.
Scott recalled how this all came together.
“One day I was scouting three different games at three different arenas in one day,” Scott recalled. “I saw them (the Otters staff) actually twice. I guess they saw me at the last arena and kind of said who is this girl because I guess Scott saw me at the arena all the time and he was just wondering who is this girl, she’s always at the rink, she’s always scouting. Who does she scout for? I think he then went to ISS’ page and looked at their followers to find me. So he did that and got in contact with me. We met up for an interview. They just wanted to get to know me about my scouting past. They liked my work ethic. They saw that scouting is a passion job that you really have to have the passion to go out and scout all the time. They saw me putting in the work and they wanted to give me an opportunity.”
Thanks in large part to her time with the ISS Mentorship Program, Scott was given the chance of a lifetime. Her time with the program allowed her to view games and get access to the tools needed to succeed. During her time with ISS, Scott scouted games at different levels, including Major Bantam AAA, Minor Midget AAA, Major Midget AAA, Junior C and the OJHL. In addition, Scott scouted OHL showcases during the summer.
Safe to say at just 20 years old, Scott is living out her dream. She will be focused on scouting bantam at the start for the Otters then see where it all goes from there.
How Scott Became a Scout
Scott’s rise to this historic moment was not an easy one to obtain. From a young age, she knew she wanted to be in hockey but wasn’t sure what path to take. How did scouting get into the picture?
“It’s kind of funny because when I look back, my parents were saying this until the day, I actually came across one of my journals,” Scott said. “I used to go out as a kid and would scout my brother’s games. I’d write things about what he could improve on, his weaknesses, his assets, different strategies, where he could have opportunities offensively. Later on down the line, I always knew that I wanted to do something with hockey. But I never knew what. And then I wanted to become a scout knowing that I did that when I was younger. It’s just funny how that played out. I guess I knew I always wanted to do something like that.”
Scott knew what she wanted to do. But then came the big challenge. She needed to find her way in a male-dominated field. But as you’ll see, she didn’t let anything stop her from her dream. One big thing stood out in helping her get to today. Let her tell you what that was.
“Being a women in this industry does have a lot of things you have to overcome,” Scott said. “Not a lot of people took me seriously when I first started. I remember applying to different junior teams just to intern and to get the feel for how scouting works. They weren’t taking me seriously about my scouting, missing meetings. I’m very young too. When I started, I was 17 so that played a factor because they see this young female. These guys who are playing for the teams are my age too. I would get a lot of looks. People would come up to me and say ‘what are you doing?’ I’d say I’m just working and scouting. They’d say you really don’t fit the typical image of a scout. And when I’d look in the mirror, that’s all I’d see is a scout. For me, you just have to shrug those things off.”
And shrugged those things off she did. Scott let her work ethic and determination be the driving force behind her rise to this opportunity. While being the first female scout in the OHL is a tremendous accomplishment which capped off years of hard work, she wants to be remembered as a scout and part of the team.
“Erie saw me for me. He (Dave Brown) didn’t see anything else. And that shows the respect he has for me that I can just be an equal there. That’s what I hoped for. I’m just like any other scout.”
Scott’s Advice for Other Women
Scott’s story is incredible for what she had to overcome. But she hopes others like her get the same opportunity. She shared some advice for women trying to walk their own path in a similar way she did.
“I would say just work hard,” Scott said. “If they see you just working hard, they won’t care if you are a woman. They don’t care about your race. They just care about you. That’s what the Erie Otters saw in me. They saw me for me.”
What Scott Brings to the Otters
Scott and the Otters are a perfect match. Both work tirelessly to get better every day. Hard work and dedication are at the center of how each conduct their business. The Otters are better for hiring Scott. So what will she bring to the Otters now that she’s on board?
“I look for someone that can be dynamic. There’s a lot of little things that I like to look for. But overall, a dynamic player, someone that’s fast, someone with hockey sense, that’s a big one with me. And also their character. Those are the main ones I look for. Also someone that works hard.”
Clearly Scott knows how the Otters like to operate. They look for the same things in players. If you work hard on the ice and have high character off the ice, you fit the mold in Erie.
Scott and the rest of the Otters now get set to make final preparations for the upcoming OHL Draft. That will take place on Saturday Apr 4. The Otters will pick eighth in the first round thanks to their final regular season record. According to Scott, she feels the Otters can get a dynamic player in this spot.
We really appreciate Scott for taking the time to speak with us. We thank her and the Otters for the opportunity to share her story of overcoming, hard work and making her dream come true.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2021-22 season will mark eight seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.