He’s the most talked about scout the organization has ever had.
His name is Judd Brackett, he’s the Vancouver Canucks’ Director of Amateur Scouting and his name was trending on Twitter this morning.
Only in Vancouver.
Brackett’s name has been in the rumour mill for months, and it’s looking more and more like he won’t be re-signed. It’s a baffling situation, given that management has been more successful at drafting than anything else in recent years.
Hired by the organization by Mike Gillis in 2008 and promoted to director by Jim Benning in 2015, Brackett has overseen the last four drafts for the Canucks, which netted them Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, among others.
But when asked about Brackett last week, Benning didn’t give a reason for optimism that his top scout would be back.
“We’re going to continue to talk to Judd and just see where it all ends up. Right now, he’s part of our group,” said Benning, who added that Brackett will be part of the scouting process for the upcoming draft.
“That’s really all we have for right now.”
Speaking on Sportsnet 650 on Monday, host Satiar Shah reported that the sense is that Brackett has been excluded from decision-making processes since last year’s draft, and it’s “increasingly unlikely” that he will return.
“From my sourcing, Judd’s desire has always been to stay,” said Shah. “There’s been no disagreement on contract term nor money… But they haven’t addressed the central issue which is having a collaborative and inclusive environment, at least for the scouts and how they conduct business in the front office.”
LISTEN @JDylanBurke: Rift between #Canucks front office and scouting staff really picked up in past year; scouting world noticing that three people most responsible for Pettersson pick may all be gone within 3 years of that draft https://t.co/XBRLeZvFFg
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) May 5, 2020
Elite Prospects Editor-in-Chief JD Burke also shared some interesting insight about the situation on TSN 1040 this morning on the Halford and Brough Show.
“The situation started to sewer at last year’s draft,” said Burke, adding that the relationship between Brackett and the organization is “bordering on acrimonious.”
Vasily Podkolzin was Brackett’s choice with the 10th overall pick last year, said Burke, but there was disagreement within the ranks.
“There’s a lot of people across the league who believe that Jim Benning and John Weisbrod tinkered with their draft board between day one and day two [of the draft],” said Burke.
Scouting shakeups are typically done in the summer, in the months following the draft. It remains to be seen when this year’s draft will be held, though the NHL is widely thought to be considering holding it early next month.
Until then, fans are freaking out just a little bit.
If you're siding with Benning over Brackett, then you don't get to point to Pettersson, Hughes, etc. as success stories for this regime
Sorry, that's how it works
You've now hung your hat on Sutter, Guddy, Loui, Sbisa, Beagle, Del Zotto, Myers + a net loss of picks👍#Canucks
— BoestMode (@BoestMode) May 5, 2020
Broke: The Canucks are forcing their head of amateur scouting out of the organization
Woke: The Canucks are trading all of their future draft picks so there is no longer a need for amateur scouting pic.twitter.com/WLAtrdKNsR
— Mr Booth (@MrBooth_7) May 5, 2020
Is is time to get this hashtag trending? I think it is.#SignBrackett
This is the one thing #Canucks nation can agree on, so let's try to make some sort of difference while we still can.
— Judd Brackett is underrated (@JuddBrackett_1) May 5, 2020
The Canucks "built through the draft" while never actually acquiring additional picks throughout the rebuild. Their success now is thanks to Brackett and the amateur scouting team. Without them Benning wouldve been fired a long time ago #signbrackett @JuddBrackett_1
— K Mac (@Couverhockey) May 5, 2020
Canucks are forcing out Brackett to give Weisbrod more power. This will go down as one of the worst decisions in Canucks history.
— Taj (@taj1944) May 4, 2020