Jeremy Bracco never quite made it with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The second-round pick (61st overall) of the Maple Leafs in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft played his first season with the Toronto Marlies in 2017-18 and started slowly, scoring six goals and adding 26 assists (for 32 points) in 50 games.
Bracco Had a Solid Season with the Toronto Marlies
However, Bracco’s next AHL season was far better. In 2018-19, he scored 22 goals and added 57 assists (for 79 points) in 75 games. He was a point-a-game forward and surely would be given a chance to make his NHL debut with the Maple Leafs. But that was not to be.
He played parts of another season with the Marlies in 2019-20, picking up four goals and adding 30 assists (for 34 points) in 44 AHL games. Then he moved on.
He first signed a free-agent contract with the Carolina Hurricanes in October 2020. But he never saw a minute of game action in the NHL. What happened to the once-promising young player?
Bracco Becomes a Hockey Pilgrim
The fact that Bracco had no chance in the NHL surprised me, especially after his 79-point season with the Marlies. He never had a chance to show his stuff with another NHL team. He never made it with the Hurricanes either.
Bracco then became a hockey pilgrim, as so many other good hockey players do. There is a living playing hockey without being in the NHL. Many good young players spend their lives travelling the world playing the sport they love.
Bracco First Moved to Finland
Bracco first played the 2020-21 season with KalPa Kuopio of the SM-liiga. For hockey fans who don’t follow professional hockey in Europe, the SM-liiga is also called the Finnish Elite League in English. It is the top professional ice hockey league in Finland. There, Bracco scored two goals and added 15 assists (for 17 points) in 24 games.
Bracco Second Moved to Germany
From Finland, Bracco moved to Germany the next season to play with the Krefeld Penguins in the DEL. The DEL is the acronym for the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. It is Germany’s top-tier professional ice hockey league. In Germany, Bracco played 54 games and scored 14 goals, and added 40 assists (for 54 points). He was once again a point-a-game player.
This Season, Bracco Landed in the KHL
After spending a successful 2021-22 season in the DEL, Bracco joined up with the Nur-Sultan Barys in the KHL. After the NHL, the KHL is probably the best professional league in the world. So far this season, Bracco has played 39 games. He’s scored 10 goals and added 13 assists (for 23 points).
More About Nur-Sultan Barys
To be geographically truthful, Nur-Sultan Barys is in the KHL but it is not a Russian team. For anyone who cares, Nur-Sultan is the capital city of Kazakhstan. If you like winter, it’s the place to live. It is the second-coldest national capital in the world after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Interestingly, for Canadians, the rank of the world’s coldest capital city was once held by Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. When Nur-Sultan came to a capital city after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1997, it slid (pun intended) to the top of the list as one of the iciest cities on the globe.
Being a Hockey Pilgrim Is a Globe-Trotting Life
For a hockey player, the KHL might not be like playing in the NHL. However, it is the hockey life that Jeremy Bracco has chosen. We wish him luck there as he’s experiencing the world close up.