The Vancouver Canucks and amateur scouting director Judd Brackett have agreed to part ways. Here are some possible replacements for the position.
Over the last five years, the Vancouver Canucks have had the best draft showings in franchise history.
A big reason for that is Judd Brackett, who was hired by the Canucks in 2008 as a scout before he was promoted to director of amateur scouting in the 2015-16 season. Since taking that position the Canucks have put good use to their first rounds picks using them on Brock Boeser, Olli Juolevi, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and most recently Vasili Podkolzin.
Three of those players are currently on the team and have made a big impact so far. The first to join was Boeser in 2017, who put up 55 points (29 goals,26 assists) in 62 games. He looked like he could win the Calder Memorial Trophy but had an injury that would cut his season short. He still ended up finishing second in votes.
The next year Pettersson joined the team and became a fan-favorite almost immediately, and for good reason. He scored 66 points (28 goals,38 assists) in 71 games, which was good enough to win the Calder Memorial Trophy and also set a new best point total for a Canucks rookie which was previously held by Pavel Bure at 60 points.
This last season Hughes gave the Canucks something they have never had before. A true number one defenseman. For now, there is no way of knowing if he will win the Calder, but he should still be a finalist. In the 68 games he played, he had eight goals and 45 assists. These three players are looking to be the core that could lead the Canucks into being playoff contenders again.
Although the first-round picks look impressive, it is what the Canucks have been able to find in the later rounds that makes the situation of losing Brackett hard to cope with. Players like Adam Gaudette and Thatcher Demko who might not be as crucial to the team but still add to the strength of it. Jack Rathbone and Aidan McDonough also look like players that can add something to this Canuck team in the future.
The only thing that can be done now is to move forward. So how does that happen? How do the Canucks find someone to replace a man who has given the Canucks a bright future?
Whoever replaces Brackett not only needs to find success almost immediately in the first round, they will also need to find a hidden gem in the later rounds. I used the CHL as a starting point to find a replacement because seven teams in the NHL currently have a director of amauter scouting that started in the CHL.
There is also one that is an assistant director of amateur scouting. I was looking for players that had at least suited up for 100 games or more that were drafted from the CHL. While doing that, I saw that after 2016, there were hardly any players who met the number of games played.
I started with the 2010 draft and between then and 2016, 131 players were taken from the CHL in the first round. In fact, 696 came from the CHL in those years. Of those players, 179 have played 100 games or more. The most amount of players from the 179 came to the OHL which was 95, the second-highest in the WHL at 49, and 35 came from the QMJHL.
Since I started with the 2010 NHL draft, I started looking at the CHL drafts in 2008. There were a lot of scouts who done a tremendous job, but I found three candidates that stood above the rest who could be a good fit for the Vancouver Canucks.