Canucks: Losing Judd Brackett would be a colossal mistake


There has been a lot of discussion surrounding Vancouver Canucks’ amateur scouting director Judd Brackett and his future with his team.

Only in a market like this can you get the amateur scouting director trending on Twitter, but such is life for Judd Brackett and Vancouver Canucks. With the NHL draft date uncertain and Brackett’s contract with the terminating June 30th, there have plenty of questions surrounding him and his future with the organization.

Brackett has been a part of the Canucks since 2008, starting off as a scout primarily in the USHL and then getting the big promotion in 2015 to the director of amateur scouting. His expertise is in the States and is widely credited for drafting players from the NCAA like Brock Boeser, Thatcher Demko and Quinn Hughes.

While scouting is a team job that requires input from a bunch of different people, it’s no question that his experience with American players has played a huge role in the young American stars that the Canucks have been able to draft.

General manager Jim Benning’s biggest strength has always been drafting. Since he has taken over, the Canucks have had a very steady stream of talented players that have turned this organization around. While Benning himself gets a lot of credit, the people he has surrounded himself with have been a big help as well.

More from The Canuck Way

When Benning took over, not only did he keep Brackett, he promoted him just a year later. They had strong draft years and have brought in players that make up the bright future for the Canucks.

However, according to Matthew Sekeres from TSN, Brackett and Benning’s relationship soured after the first day of the 2019 Draft.

Benning stripped Brackett of all his “authority” and got much closer with John Weisbrod who is their current assistant general manager.

Satiar Shah from Sportsnet said “it’s very unlikely” that Brackett will re-sign with the Canucks, which would be a very unsettling decision.

In the same summer that Brackett saw his authority stripped, Benning also cleaned house among the amateur scouts by replacing four with five of his own. His moves indicate that he wants more control over the Canucks’ draft and is willing to get rid of good employees to get his way.

Weisbrod is a whole other can of worms. He has been with the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, and even the NBA’s Orlando Magic. But even though he has a ton of experience, it doesn’t mean that it’s good experience. With every team, he has experienced plenty failure and now he is Benning’s right-hand man.

A GM should be a very important voice in the draft, but he also has a boatload of other responsibilities. Benning’s main job is dealing with his NHL and AHL team and ensuring that he puts the best team on the ice. Which 17-year old looks the most promising overseas should not be the top priority for him.

His drafting history is great, but all the other aspects of being a general manager like trades and signings have not been up to par. These should his priorities — especially with the Canucks entering a cap crunch — and delegate scouting to people whose literal job is to scout.

Offseason trade candidates. dark. Next

Brackett’s insight in NCAA hockey has gifted the Canucks with franchise players, and there’s no question that he is excellent at his job. Seeing him walk out the door because of management, rather than money or term, would be a very bitter pill for Vancouver fans to swallow. Unfortunately, these kinds of moves will likely continue to happen unless there is a major shakeup in management and/or ownership.