Toronto Maple Leafs Prospects: Why Bracco Should’ve Made The Cut

Apr 13, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan talks to the press during a press conference at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan talks to the press during a press conference at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Scouts mostly agree that you don’t really know what kind of impact a player will have until he plays 250 games in the league, or just over three full seasons, so we’re going to look at the Toronto Maple Leafs this way.

Following that thought process, the writers here at have each voted for our top young Toronto Maple Leafs players following that 250 game played cap as well as an age limit of 24 by the start of the season as our only rules.

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We’ve each ranked all 43 eligible players from 1 to 20, with a 1st place vote being assigned 20 points, a second place vote being assigned 19 points, etc. We then added up each of our individual lists and the points given to each player and came up with the official final Top 20 rankings.

To keep things consistent all player information and stats come from, unless otherwise mentioned.

If you’d like a full break down of what to expect, check out the intro piece we put out last week here.

In today’s piece we tease you just a bit longer before we kick off our long-awaited Top 20 Young Leafs official rankings! With so many deserving players eligible for votes (43 in total), I wanted to take the time to look at some players who did not make this years list that should have in my opinion.

Keep in mind this ranking is by no means the be-all-and-end-all of prospect rankings and is meant purely to help pass the time until training camp and hockey related news starts kicking back up into gear, and maybe serve to enlighten you on just how far the Leafs pipeline of young talent has come and what to expect from them.

With that in mind we start strong with our first Young Leaf that should have made our Top 20 List.


Age: 19

Position: C/RW

Shoots: Right

Height/Weight: 5ft9 / 172lbs

Jeremy Bracco, was drafted 61st overall in the second round of the 2015 NHL entry draft. Along with Mitch Marner, Bracco served as the poster child for Mark Hunter’s first draft with the Leafs.

Capable of pure electrifying end to end rushes with out of this world hands, the smaller Bracco does lack traditional NHL size. With only 4 of our 7 writers voting for him at all, Bracco falls one spot shy of our Top20 Young Leafs Rankings at No.21.

The always talented SEER Video channel on Youtube has a pretty solid highlight package;

(Skip to the 3:00 mark if you just want highlights with no interviews)

Bracco was originally committed to Boston College, but after putting up 3 assists in 5 games and being buried down the depth chart in favour of more senior players, Bracco renounced his commitment and signed with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.

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In 49 games with the Rangers, Bracco put up 64 points. These weren’t world shattering numbers by any means and one of Bracco’s greatest weaknesses is consistency game to game. Despite this, he has always shown up in big moments, 14 points in only 9 playoff games with the Rangers, 11 points in 6 games at the World Under 17 Championships and 13 points in 7 games at the World Under 18 Championships – second to Auston Matthews for the tournament scoring lead.

If that isn’t enough to entice you, Jeremy Bracco owns the all time record for most assists in a single season (64 assists in 65 games) and most assists total with the US National Team Development U-18 Team (122 assists over two seasons).

He’s third overall in total points at 168 points, trailing only Patrick Kane (172) and a name all Leaf fans should be familiar with in Phil Kessel (180). This is a guy with off the charts skill level, with an NHL ready motor and a high compete level.

HockeysFuture puts it nicely:

"“Bracco is an excellent playmaker with high end puck handling skills. Smaller than fellow Leafs’ prospects Mitch Marner and William Nylander, he plays with the same type of creativity and uses his speed and awareness both to create pressure on defenders and avoid dangerous situations.”"

One of the more interesting things about Jeremy Bracco, is because he wasn’t playing in the CHL during his draft season (USNDT), he is eligible to play with the Marlies for the upcoming 2016-2017 season.

I’m not 100% sure on this one, but if he does play with the Marlies that would most likely burn a year off of his ELC and if the Leafs think he is going to be a real barn burner, they may let him truly dominate the OHL and the World Junior Under 20 Championships this year, before turning pro next season.

He has the skill set and the speed to make it in the NHL. If he can become more consistent on a day-to-day and game-to-game basis, and harness his elite level play making skills, the Leafs have a real diamond in the rough on their hands.

NHL Projections:

Potential Ceiling: 60+ Point Top 6 Playmaking Winger

Realistic NHL Role: 30+ Point 3rd Line Playmaking Winger

NHL Player Comparable: Tyler Johnson

Chances of Reaching Ceiling: 60%

NHL Ready: 2018-2019

Jeremy Bracco should have made our Top 20 Young Leafs List here at Editor In Leaf, but the fact that he didn’t should tell you what kind of depth our beloved organization has accrued under the Shanaplan. Get excited Leafs Nation, we’re witnessing the beginning of something special here!

We can’t wait to share our official rankings with you and get some discussion going about who exactly our top young players should be? Who made our rankings that didn’t deserve too? Who was left off that should have made it on? Should Jeremy Bracco have made the cut?

Next: Top 20 Young Leafs Intro

A lot of opinions to share and a lot of discussion to be had is coming up over the next few weeks. Please feel free to join in on the discussion on Twitter @TorrinBatchelor @EditorInLeaf or in the comment thread below! Also, stay tuned for more pre-ranking articles like this one and get ready to get excited about all the talent in the Leafs organization!