Photo Credit: Canucks YouTube

Scott Walker leaves Canucks development team to join Coyotes

It was announced yesterday by the Arizona Coyotes that Scott Walker would be joining the club as a Special Assistant to the GM on a multi-year contract

Walker had been with the Canucks since 2015-16 where he started as a Development Coach and then was moved to the Director of Player Development this past season. Throughout the time, he has still been the owner of the Guelph Storm in the OHL.

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In the video leading up to the draft, Walker was a prominent voice in the discussions featured and it was confirmed on Wednesday by Utica Comets GM Ryan Johnson that was part of his repertoire within the organization.

“He was very multi-faceted, he worked with some of our existing prospects and he was a part of the amateur decisions, especially with the higher echelons of players,” Ryan Johnson said to the media at UBC

He clearly provided value to the organization that was just limited to working with the players within the organization and moves into a role that should allow him to work upwards from there.

There was a lot of discussions this season about the development of players within the organization and how they were working with their prospects to become the best player they could. With that in mind, losing Walker is a big hit to a department that many are hoping to see improvements and additions to rather than the latter.

Obviously, the Canucks management group is busy with July 1st coming up but it will be interesting to see what they do to support Ryan Johnson for next season. It’s clear that you need to have players on entry level contracts contributing at the NHL level to be effective, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see teams like the Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs place a focus on player development.

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Walker will clearly leave a hole in a management group that already appeared to be needing more bodies.

  • Rodeobill

    I thought that one of our organizations’ weaknesses, at least looking from the outside in, was the lack of development of some of our prospects, especially in Utica. Was he responsible? I don’t know if he was helping or hindering, but certainly was under his purview. Seems like that side of things need a serious overhaul anyway. Like a good goalie coach ie, Ian Clark, or Rollie Melanson seemed to make a big difference, maybe they need to go find the best talent for this position they can find and spend on him. That will help the team and the system and not hurt the cap too.

  • TheRealPB

    Given the uneven development of so many of the highly touted prospects this year (Dahlen, Palmu, Lind, Gadjovich in particular) I am not really sure whether this is good or bad news. I would love to see the Canucks add someone who has experience working with European players and their transition to the pro game in North America (I understand that Palmu played here). Maybe a Sami Salo or another solid pro like that.

  • TheRealRusty

    How many prospects have the Canucks farm team produced under this administration? It always seems to be a zero sum kind of deal with how they “groom” players, instead of maximizing their strengths they seem to want to dumb all of them down into mindless checking drones…

    • Suki Sidhu

      I personally think that the Canucks should move their Farm Team alittle bit closer to the Westcoast which would make it soo much easier for calling up or sending down their players instead of on the East coast which to me makes more sense

      • Killer Marmot

        The argument is that, while it’s easier to call up players, an AHL team situated in the northwest would spend far more time and expense traveling on road trips. In Utica, most of their opponents are within a few hours bus trip away. They probably don’t even have to stay overnight for a lot of their away games.

    • Defenceman Factory

      Virtanen, Demko, MacEwan, Goldobin all developed in Utica. There are also a number of players there now who will play in the NHL. Given the number of young players who have moved straight onto NHL roster and the abysmal drafting record of the previous administration there hasn’t been a lot to work with. The rookie crop in Utica last year didn’t meet the high expectations placed on them. Beyond that what promising prospects have fallen well below expectations in Utica?