Bracco brings success to Spitfires
By Garrett Fodor
The Windsor Spitfires are preparing for the Memorial Cup by acquiring some of the top players in the Ontario Hockey League.
One of the newest Spitfires is Jeremy Bracco,acquired from the Kitchener Rangers in exchange for Cole Carter, Andrew Burns and three second round draft picks from 2023 to 2025. Bracco was chosen 61st overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs and prior to the 2015-2016 season was committed and enrolled at Boston College. Bracco waived a notrade clause to come to Windsor. In 34 games this season Bracco has tallied 57 points.
The New York native recently returned from representing the U.S. at the World Junior Championships held in Montreal and Toronto. For Bracco it was an opportunity to play in front of the fans and on the ice for the team that drafted him. He came home with a gold medal around his neck after the U.S. defeated Canada 5-4 in a shootout.
Bracco said he and his two teammates returning to teams in the Canadian Hockey League expected to not be well liked among the Canadian players and fans.
“For me, (Tyler) Parsons and (Caleb) Jones playing in the CHL we knew we weren’t going to be the most loved guys,” said Bracco. “To end in a shootout, win or lose, is a tough way to go out but it was a lot of fun to be apart of.”
In the seven game tournament Bracco tallied three goals and two assists, playing on the third line. Windsor Spitfire head coach Rocky Thompson said he was pleased with the acquisition of Bracco ahead of their Memorial Cup run. Thompson added that Bracco was playing through a lower body injury throughout the tournament. Thompson will be cautious when playing him, as they do not want him to aggravate the injury.
“It is pretty cool to play at the spot you are drafted by, it’s pretty special,” said Bracco. “To play at the Air Canada Centre in front of 20,000 fans against Canada was pretty cool. I kinda learned how to be resilient and how to win and I hope to bring that here (to Windsor). It didn’t matter who we played we were getting booed.”
In seven games since the trade to Windsor, Bracco has tallied six assists.
Bracco remains unsigned by the Maple Leafs and hopes that is the first of many more opportunities to play on NHL ice.