The Minnesota Wild made an announcement this week that very much flew under the radar, an announcement that could very well give them a big advantage at the upcoming National Hockey League Entry Draft and one that could even help them in their upcoming playoffs series against the Vancouver Canucks.
Let's go step by step here. On Thursday the Wild made the announcement that they had hired Judd Brackett as their new director of amateur scouting, an announcement that was met with relatively little fanfare. It is perfectly understandable given that scouts generally remain out of the public eye, however in this case the hiring of Brackett was one definitely worth noticing.
So why is the hiring of Brackett such a big deal? Well for that we have to go back a few months to when Brackett put an end to a long working relationship with the Vancouver Canucks. Brackett was viewed by many as the organization's star scout and has been largely credited as the brain behind the organization's decision to draft Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, all players who look like they will be big time impact players for many years to come at the NHL level. Although it was never officially confirmed, we reported at the time that there was good reason to believe that Brackett had made a push for more autonomy and had been rebuffed by Canucks general manager Jim Benning, promoting him to walk away from the team.
That in and of itself would be a huge win for the Wild who could certainly use another talented scout to help them identify talent both locally and overseas, but it gets better. Perhaps no one has a better grasp on the Canucks roster and their tendencies than a man who spent many years watching those players develop, a Canucks team that is now set to face off against the Minnesota Wild in the Stanley Cup Qualifying round set to take place on August 1st. The Wild will almost certainly pick Brackett's brain regarding player tendencies and who knows how that could go on to impact the playoff series between these two teams.