Ever since the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Jeremy Bracco with the 61st overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, they have seen nothing but great things from him. Over the past few years, Bracco has gone from the 13th forward with the Marlies to a top-line producer. The Leafs seem to be pleased with his development so far and they think he is ready to take the next step.
The Next Step for Jeremy Bracco
Here’s what the Leafs are hoping Bracco can accomplish this season with the Toronto Marlies:
Continue to Produce
Bracco must find a way to continue to produce. Bracco was second in the AHL last year with 79 points and has superb playmaking abilities. He has a spot on the first power-play unit locked up and should be a shoo-in for 60+ points as long as he stays healthy (and with the Marlies). Bracco has proven in the past that he can be a top-end producer and on a stacked Marlies team poised for success, he will have every opportunity to put up monster numbers.
Round Out His Defensive Game
Many critics say Bracco’s defensive game is what has kept him from cracking the Leafs lineup this season. Bracco’s play with the puck is superb but many people have said that his backchecking and play without the puck leaves something to be desired. Sheldon Keefe, the Marlies head coach stated that he will continue to try and work with Bracco to turn him into a more complete player.
Become More Versatile
If Bracco hopes to crack the Leafs lineup anytime soon, he has to learn to become more versatile. As seen last year with Trevor Moore and Andreas Johnsson, they learned how to play a more defensive game before moving onto bigger roles with the Leafs this year. If Bracco hopes to get a chance, he must learn how to play a more defensive game before he can get a real chance with the Leafs.
If Bracco can improve what the Leafs are asking of him, he will surely find his way into their lineup soon. Bracco has incredible vision and playmaking abilities that NHL teams can never get enough of. Many people are salivating with the thought of the Leafs having two playmakers in him and Marner in a few years.
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