Judd Brackett has reached a certain amount of fame (infamy?) due to his track record and recent success by the Vancouver Canucks draft picks. He lost a power struggle in Van and is off to Minnesota for the next one to 20 years. It is very difficult to value scouting directors unless they’re 1979-83 Barry Fraser or 1984-2000 Barry Fraser. Brackett is good. Did he do better than the Oilers 2016-2019? If so, by how much?
Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. I am proud to be part of The Athletic. Here are the most recent Oilers stories.
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- Lowetide: Setting the record straight on Oilers prospect Cooper Marody’s future
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In his fascinating book THE ROAD TO HOCKEYTOWN, Jimmy Devellano talks about the goal of a scouting director and his staff:
‘We’re trying to determine if the player can get to the next level, that’s the real job. Most people can sit and watch a game and tell you who the best player on the ice is, but the good scout will be able to judge whether or not a player can go a step or two higher. We in the hockey business call it projecting.’
Success in the first 100 selections of each draft (1st round): All of Brackett’s first-round picks were top-10 overall selections. An NHL team needs to cash most or all of those picks, and the Canucks have procured exceptional (Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes) talent in two of those four seasons. Olli Juolevi is on track for a career if he can stay healthy, he had a good year in the AHL. The Russian from 2019 (Vasili Podkolzin) is too soon to know. Pettersson and Hughes make the four picks a ringing success in my opinion, Brackett’s strong work in the first round should be on display for the next decade. Brackett is also given credit often for Vancouver’s choosing Brock Boeser, another impressive youngster.
Success in the first 100 selections of each draft (2nd round): Kole Lind (2017) is through two AHL seasons and gaining traction as a middle-six winger option. I like him. Jonah Gadjovich (2017) is a prospect I liked a lot but he seems to have stalled. Jett Woo (2018) ran in place a little in his final junior season it’s uncertain to me where he’ll land in pros (offensive defenseman? Two-way type?). I’ll guess top four and suggest he’s lagging a little but no real reason to worry. Nils Hoglander (2019) has the look of a prospect who may not require an entire AHL season before being NHL ready. Undersized, I’ll suggest No. 2 LW outer marker.
Success in the first 100 selections of each draft (3rd round): William Lockwood (2016) is a bit of a tweener but could make the grade as a support player. Michael DiPietro (2017) had a good AHL season as a rookie pro, the last year and a half suggests to me that ‘No. 1 NHL starter’ is starting to look aggressive. Tyler Madden (2018) is the best prospect in the Vancouver system not chosen in the first round in the Brackett years.
Success in what Devellano calls “projecting”: Madden would be an example, Jack Rathbone (2017) is an intriguing prospect (good speed, earning more playing time in college each season) who could surprise.
Success in addressing team needs. Canucks were old and lacked high-end skill. Vancouver was drafting high, but when a scouting director answers the need for skill by delivering Pettersson and Hughes, he should be given credit. Good move by the Wild.
- Best first-round pick: (Tie) Pettersson, Hughes
- Worst first-round pick: Olli Juolevi (who may still work out)
- Best pick after the first round: Tyler Madden
Success in the first 100 selections of each draft (1st round): Kailer Yamamoto in 2017 showed some innovation, a small winger with no fear and a great deal of skill. Excellent pick, especially considering where they got him. Evan Bouchard in 2018 (over Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson) looks poised to deliver substantial value. Philip Broberg is too soon to know, surprised at how many have already made the call. Great speed is useful on offense and defense. Jesse Puljujarvi was the right selection, no doubt in my mind. Still, it didn’t work as planned, and that will be the overriding story until JP has some NHL success, gets traded, or Bouchard emerges as a quality NHL player.
Success in the first 100 selections of each draft (2nd round): Tyler Benson is on the verge of his NHL career, I think a Marcus Kruger future is a reasonable projection for him. Ryan McLeod is also progressing as a bottom-six forward and shows promise. Olivier Rodrigue is one of the organization’s two best goalie prospects and coming off a season where he posted a .918SP in the diabolical QMJHL. You never know but he’s on the good side of the prospect list. Raphael Lavoie is the most recent selection and may be remembered as the best of the bunch. His outer marker is the most promising among the forwards in this group. None have succeeded all are on track.
Success in the first 100 selections of each draft (3rd round): Ilya Konovalov was an astute, I’ll say inspired choice, in its own way as innovative as Yamamoto in the first round. He’s close to NHL-ready, has two solid to excellent KHL seasons on his resume and his only crime is being a little smaller than ideal. Dmitri Samorukov looks like he’ll play a two-way role in the NHL if he continues to progress, Filip Berglund is developing into a two-way type who may find NHL employement ala Erik Gustafsson (with a little less offense). Stuart Skinner is matriculating but hasn’t shown NHL upside in two pro seasons. Matt Cairns doesn’t resemble a future NHL player at this time.
Success in what Devellano calls “projecting”: Samorukov would qualify in this category, Mike Kesselring and Maxim Denezhkin are two men I believe may cover this bet in the future.
Success in addressing team needs. If you include 2015, then Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones certainly qualify and Kailer Yamamoto is a direct hit in this category. Evan Bouchard will get there and qualify, possibly in the coming year. Kirill Maksimov is a candidate, he’ll need to have some success in 2020-21.
- Best first-round pick: Kailer Yamamoto
- Worst first-round pick: Jesse Puljujarvi
- Best pick after the first round: Ethan Bear
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, we kickstart the weekend with great guests, great talk and anticipating great news. TSN1260, we welcome Scott Powers from The Athletic to talk Chicago Blackhawks and the coming series with Edmonton. Matt Iwanyk will discuss the NHL’s returns and Edmonton’s best hotels at 11. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!