Four amateur scouts have reportedly been let go as the new Vancouver Canucks management team continues to put its stamp on the organization.
Brandon Benning, Derek Richard, Tim Lenardon, and Pat Conacher were dismissed by the team on Thursday, according to a report from Thomas Drance of The Athletic.
Hearing that the #Canucks have made changes on the amateur side of their scouting operation.
Four dismissals came down on Thursday, I’m told, including Derek Richard, Tim Lenardon, Brandon Benning and Pat Conacher.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) May 6, 2022
New Canucks GM Patrik Allvin, who has an amateur scouting background, hinted on Tuesday that changes could be coming.
“We’re still evaluating our staff. We always want to get better. It might happen,” Allvin said when asked if changes would be coming to his scouting staff.
Brandon Benning is the son of former Canucks GM Jim Benning, who was fired by the team in December. Brandon had been with the team as an amateur scout since 2015, the same year his father was hired.
Lenardon, who had been with the organization since 2000, was the longest-tenured scout let go. Conacher had worked as an amateur scout with the Canucks since 2019, following six years with the Utica Comets, serving as their general manager (2013-2017) and director of hockey operations (2013-2019).
Judging from Allvin’s press conference comments earlier this week, you can expect the director of amateur scouting, Todd Harvey, to remain with the team. Allvin was very complimentary of Harvey, who has run the past two drafts for the Canucks after they parted ways with Judd Brackett.
“Todd is a very knowledgeable person,” Allvin said. “I didn’t know him before, but I got to know him. Very prepared, very detailed. We will support Todd. I believe that he’s more than capable of running the amateur staff.”
The Canucks haven’t drafted in the first round since Harvey took over and had just one pick in the first four rounds last year.
The NHL Draft Lottery is being held on May 10. As the team with the second-best record of all non-playoff teams this season, Vancouver has just a 0.5% chance of winning the lottery, but they’re not eligible to pick first overall.
The NHL made changes to the draft lottery that are taking effect for the first time this year. Teams are only allowed to move up a maximum of 10 spots in the draft now, meaning that if the Canucks “win” the lottery, they’ll select fifth. More than likely, the Canucks will pick 15th.
The NHL Draft is being held in Montreal this summer, in person for the first time in three years, on July 7 and 8.