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Jeremy Bracco is having a fantastic season with the US National Team Development Program, and its getting him noticed in scouting circles. Any time a US NTDP player puts up 74 points in 54 games on the Under-17 team, and has 27 goals and 81 points in 58 games with the Under 18 team, its going to make waves. Add in 13 points in 7 games at the Under 18 World Championships, as Bracco helped the U.S. team to a gold medal, and he’s had a great season. He’s headed to Boston College in the fall, where he hopes to follow in the footsteps of another undersized US NTDP superstar in Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames. Should Bracco change his mind and go the CHL route, his OHL rights are owned by the Kitchener Rangers.
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born Mar 17 1997 — Freeport, NY
Height 5.9 — Weight 172 [175 cm/78 kg]
The biggest knock on Jeremy Bracco is his size, as he’s just 5’9″ and 172 pounds. For an undersized player to succeed in the NHL today, he must be a great skater, and Bracco certainly meets that requirement. He is one of the fastest players in this draft class, and has outstanding acceleration to go along with it. Bracco also has outstanding edgework, and the agility to avoid defenders both on the rush and when working in the zone. For his size his balance and power are good, but he will need to add a little bit more lower body strength before he’s ready for the pro game.
Jeremy Bracco also has great hands and this combined with his skating makes him extremely dangerous off the rush. He has very good vision and strong passing skills as well, making him an ideal playmaker. Defenders must respect his ability to take them wide and cut to the net, and when they back off he can use the increased time and space to create passing lanes and find open teammates. Bracco has a decent wrist shot and good release, but sometimes seems a little too hesitant to shoot. He does have the good hands to finish in close and get deflections and rebounds. Overall he must get stronger to win more battles on the boards, and to be able to succeed with his frame, though he is not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice. He might get knocked down by bigger defencemen, but you will find Bracco right back in the corners or in front of the net later on the very same shift. He has a relentless energy in the offensive zone. Bracco also has excellent hockey sense. He makes smart plays with the puck on his stick and is able to find open areas without it.
Jeremy Bracco’s defensive game could use some work. He needs to be more consistent in his effort on the back check as he can have a tendency to puck watch at time, and doesn’t always keep his feet moving. He also can fly the zone a little early at times, trying to get things started in the transition game at the expense of defensive responsibilities. This is something that should improve with some maturity and good coaching though.
Personally I see Bracco getting drafted a lot lower than what I have him ranked at. I think there is a good chance he will slip to the mid second round, due to his size. That said, his offensive potential is extremely high, and if he can overcome the size issue and develop to his ceiling, he has top line potential. The size does make him a boom or bust type of pick though. In terms of a player comparison, its easy to see how Jeremy Bracco’s game is similar to Calder candidate Johnny Gaudreau, though this is a style comparison and not necessarily a talent one.
Below are some highlight videos of Bracco in Action.
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