It’s hard to imagine someone that put up 126 points in their draft year and someone that a lot of people felt was worthy of a first round pick sits this low in rankings. Is that a knock on Bracco, or a testament to the depth of the Leafs’ prospect pool?
Let’s take a look.
|Jeff||Ryan H.||Shawn||Ryan F.||Adam||Dom||Jess||Katy||Readers|
|RW/C||Freeport, NY||5’9||172||Right||Kitchener Rangers||2015 Draft (2-61)|
|2009-10||13||Long Island Gulls Bantam Minor||AYMBHL||28||34||41||75||N/A||4||N/A|
|2010-11||13||Long Island Gulls Bantam Major||AYBHL||31||25||42||67||N/A||6||N/A|
|2011-12||14||Long Island Gulls Bantam Major||AYBHL||28||26||49||75||N/A||26||N/A|
|15||New Jersey Rockets||MetJHL||10||9||15||24||N/A||0||N/A|
|15||New Jersey Rockets||AtJHL||30||16||34||50||N/A||24||N/A|
|16||U.S. National U17 Team||USDP||54||16||58||74||N/A||20||N/A|
|17||U.S. National U18 Team||USDP||65||30||64||94||N/A||10||N/A|
Bracco’s consistently put up the points wherever he’s played. His absurd production with the USNTDP in his draft year is why a lot of the more statistically inclined felt he could be a major bargain bin pickup, and last year he continued to produce, putting up a strong 64 points in 49 games with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers.
|pGPSn||pGPSs||pGPS%||pGPS PPG||pGPS PP82||pGPSr|
|46 (8/18)||11 (11/18)||23.9% (13/18)||0.47 (12/18)||38.42 (12/18)||11.21 (14/18)|
- pGPSn: The number of matches between the subject and the player-seasons (one season by a single player, i.e, John Tavares 2008 OHL) in the historical sample.
- pGPSs: The number of statistical matches that became NHL regulars. This is determined by playing 200 NHL games.
- pGPS%: Simply s divided by n, this is the percentage of statistical matches that successfully became NHL players.
- pGPS PPG: The NHL points per game of successful matches.
- pGPS P82: The same as pGPS PPG, but stretched over 82 games.
- pGPSr: A bit of a hybrid number, this pGPS Rating combines the percentage and points per game to produce a number that includes both likelihood of success and potential upside.
Based on the success of his historical comparables, Bracco is projected to become a third line forward.
To learn more about the Prospect Graduation Probabilities System, check out this post.
THE EYE TEST
Oddly enough, I wasn’t a big fan of Bracco at all in his draft year, and the eye test was the reason why. Every time I got to watch him I was left wondering how a player that seemed slow, unthreatening with the puck, and generally invisible could put up so many points.
Fast forward a year, and I’m convinced I was either catching him in all the wrong games or that he’s done a lot of growing over the span of a season. It’s probably a bit of both.
Granted, Bracco is still a little slow, and for someone that’s also 5″9′, his speed is going to be the biggest thing that might hold him back from a future in the NHL. But, he’s not Andy Wozniewski out there either.
Aside from that, Bracco’s pretty shifty with the puck and is an entertaining and noticeable puck-handler. He doesn’t really dance through games, but he’s a good zone entry player that seems to have the puck on his stick a lot, and he uses his puckhandling to keep the puck in his team’s possession. Basically, he might have better puck skills than any other Leafs prospects outside of the big three.
He’s also got a good shot, and passing is a serious asset. He certainly does them well enough to entertain possibilities of tantalizing NHL upside.
So, the guy has skill. Enough for me to think he has legitimate top-six upside, which I’d say only him and Kasperi Kapanen have for Leafs prospects outside Matthews, Marner, and Nylander.
But, skating is an issue, and so is shot generation, which are the things leaving me thinking he probably won’t reach his upside. High-ish ceiling, low-ish chance of reaching it.
AS SEEN ON TV
Bracco’s still pretty young, especially relative to most Leafs prospects given the Leafs drafted a bunch of old men in Buffalo. He was really productive last season but definitely needs to improve on those totals for me to really feel optimistic about his future. He also needs to improve his skating and ability to put pucks on net. If he can do those things, he likely finishes a lot higher in our mid-season rankings.
I think Bracco’s one of a very select few in the Leafs prospect system that have legitimate top-six upside, even if he might not be likely to reach it. For me, that’s reason enough to argue he should be ranked higher.
Alas, we are where we are, and Bracco sits in the back half of a pretty damn deep prospect pool. All I’ll say is I think Bracco’s poised for a big 16-17 season, especially with even more opportunity arising in the graduation of Kitchener’s star center Ryan MacInnis to the pros. I also think some of the players that are being highly valued in these rankings could disappoint. So, don’t be surprised if Bracco is a lot more highly coveted down the line.
The Rankings So Far
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #12 Brendan Leipsic
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #13 Zach Hyman
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #14 Carl Grundstrom
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #15 Andrew Nielsen
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #16 Tobias Lindberg
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #17 Yegor Korshkov
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #18 Adam Brooks
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #19 Kasimir Kaskisuo
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #20 Garret Sparks
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: 10 players who received no votes from us
- TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: Honourable Mentions