Since being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 2015 NHL draft, Jeremy Bracco has always seemed to be on the cusp of breaking out as a great NHL player. Although, the Toronto Maple Leafs offensive prospect pool has become one of the best in the league, and Jeremy Bracco could get lost among the many big names. So what should the Maple Leafs do?
Jeremy Bracco and the Toronto Maple Leafs
Jeremy Bracco has been able to put up staggering offensive numbers at every level of play throughout his young career, which has allowed him to develop into one of the best playmakers that has yet to play an NHL game. Before joining the Toronto Marlies in 2017, Bracco spent two seasons in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers and Windsor Spitfires where he put together 147 points in 106 games, with 101 of those points being assists.
After putting up decent numbers in his first year with the Marlies, Bracco had a breakout year this past season. Through 75 regular season games, he scored 79 points, and added 16 points in their 13 playoff games, making him a huge part of their offence at even strength and on the power play.
One of Jeremy Bracco’s most unique qualities is his style of skating, which is reminiscent of Jeff Skinner. The way he opens up his body causes defenders to have to defend a potential pass which he can make at such a high level, while also having to respect his ability to shoot and finish by himself.
Jeremy Bracco’s 2019-20 Season
Despite having strong offensive numbers in his first few AHL seasons, Bracco has taken a significant dive in production. With just four goals through 42 games this season, many questions surrounding his future with the club have been raised.
For Bracco, there has to be some obvious frustration with the lack of recognition he has received from the Maple Leafs. In comparison to the other prospects that have come through the Marlies organization, Bracco has received almost no opportunity to succeed with the big league club, but it could be from his own doing. After all, one major justification for all of their players being deemed NHL-ready has remained consistent; being reliable defensively.
Yes, Jeremy Bracco has shown the potential to be an offensive weapon on many top-six lines in the NHL, but how many teams are willing to take a chance on him? At this point in his career, there should be some signs of maturity in aspects of his game where there isn’t, and he tends to be a liability in his own zone at times far too often for someone with his experience.
It seems that the best move for the Maple Leafs would be to trade Jeremy Bracco while his value is still fairly high. The Leafs are in desperate need of a solid third-string goaltender in the event that either Frederik Andersen or Michael Hutchinson gets hurt, as well as a strong defenseman as they will be without Morgan Rielly for a significant period of time. As the trade deadline approaches, it is time for Toronto to seriously consider their option of packaging Jeremy Bracco in a trade.