Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |#29 - JEREMY BRACCO
Right Wing, USA U-18 (USHL)
5’10”, 165 lbs.
Every year, the adage “good things come in small packages” is used to describe an explosive yet under-sized draft talent. In the 2015 class, there is no better candidate to apply it to than Jeremy Bracco, a relentless playmaker who has spent the past two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program.
A speedy, slippery winger with exceptional puck skills, Bracco has consistently made the most of his opportunities. Whether it was his two-goal performance at the CCM/USA Hockey All American Prospects Game, his three goals and a tournament-best 10 helpers to help the U.S. to the gold medal at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship or his 14 tallies in 24 USHL contests with the NDTP’s U-18 squad, Bracco was a presence on virtually every shift in his draft year.
If there was one identifiable lull, it was a brief stretch following his omission from Team USA’s roster for the World Junior Championship. A lesson on dealing with adversity was learned and Bracco certainly rebounded.
Among the feats pulled off by Bracco in his draft year was an impressive 64 assists for the U-18 squad, shattering the previous single-season record of 50 set by Patrick Kane (2005-06) and Andy Hilbert (1998-99).
Bracco gets by on his own merit, but you can bet that he won’t go unclaimed for very long following a season that saw 5-foot-8 Tyler Johnson post a dominant playoff performance and 5-foot-9 John Gaudreau named a finalist for the Calder Trophy. Bracco, whose OHL rights are held by the Kitchener Rangers, is expected to enroll at Boston College in the fall.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.