Team USA standout Bracco traded to Windsor

Jeremy Bracco just got his World Juniors gold added to his resume, when Team USA beat Canada, 5-4, last week to take the title in the annual U20 tournament.

Now he’ll get a shot at a Memorial Cup.

The skilled forward from New York was traded by the Kitchener Rangers to Windsor in a OHL trade deadline deal on Monday, the team announced. Windsor hosts the Memorial Cup, gaining an automatic bid as a result.

The Rangers get forward Cole Carter, defenseman Andrew Burns, and three draft picks in return. The Spitfires received a pair of draft picks to go along with Bracco.

Bracco, who joined Kitchener late in 2015 after a short-lived stint in the NCAA at Boston College, had 38 goals and 115 points in 76 games for the Rangers. He had 51 points in 27 games in the 2016-17 season, which began with a 26-game point streak.

The Maple Leafs prospect will bring a much-needed boost to the front-end for Windsor, which is 12th in the OHL with 128 goals, scoring a clip of 3.37 per game. Aaron Luchuk is the Spitfires leading scorer with a 14-18=32 line. The addition of Bracco, along with Ottawa first round pick Logan Brown continuing to gain his footing after missing time with a wrist injury. Windsor remains the envy of many on the back end, led by Canadiens prospect Mikhail Sergachev along with NHL prospects Logan Stanley (Winnipeg) and Sean Day (NY Rangers).

At 25-8-4, Windsor is in a two-team race with Sault Ste. Marie for the top spot in the OHL West, in which the Spitfires trail the Greyhounds by five points, but have two games in hand. The Spitfires are ranked fifth in the latest CHL poll, which features three OHL clubs in the top five (London, No. 2; Soo, No. 4).

The addition of Bracco will make Windsor that much more of a factor as it searches for its first Memorial Cup title since winning back-to-back in 2009-10.

Thoughts Are My Own: Trouba Has No Leverage

Thoughts as you realize it’s the first day of November. Woah, it’s the first day of November.

*Jacob Trouba is being Jonathan Drouin-ed. And will continue to be. The Jets want what no team will give for his services. He’s a solid, top four defenseman at 21 years old. He has the size, he has the projection of being a top defenseman. Winnipeg will let the situation ride itself out until the December 1 deadline, where which Trouba will forgo a full season should he not be signed then, which only hurts his value. Ball is in the court of Kevin Cheveldayoff and company.

*Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid facing off for the first time ever is the headliner of Tuesday’s games, and rightfully so; they’re special talents, the two most recent first overall picks, and two of the best in recent memory. But here’s some other matchups that might catch your eye: Tampa Bay at Islanders, Steven Stamkos vs. John Tavares in another showdown of first overall picks; Washington at Winnipeg, Alex Ovechkin vs. Patrik Laine, the greatest goal scorer of the post-lockout years against what looks like the next great goal scorer the game bears witness to; and Anaheim at Los Angeles needs no explanation.

*The matchup (not Tuesday, obviously, but down the road) I find most compelling is Toronto vs. Buffalo. Matthews vs. Jack Eichel in a showdown of the two top American youngsters, two guys who are among the faces in U.S. hockey as teenagers. This is only made better by the natural geographic rivalry that exists with the two franchises fighting for the love of southern Ontario.

*Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday that there will be no changes to the All-Star Game voting format, which if true is the right decision. Last year’s game was as successful as it had been in quite some time, no need to overthink it. The league has bigger fish to fry.

*Nothing wrong with Mikhail Sergachev, the ninth overall pick in this past June’s draft, being sent back to Windsor. He’d played just three games in Montreal, might as well get another year of OHL experience under his belt. He’ll be on a Spitfires team that features fellow first rounder Logan Stanley on the back line and 11th overall pick Logan Brown up front. Sean Day was a third round pick.

*Ohio State hockey is out to a 5-0-2 start to the season, moving up to No. 11 in the USCHO.com poll. The Buckeyes should only expound on the strong record, with doubleheaders against Robert Morris, UConn, and RPI awaiting in the next three weekends. The big challenge doesn’t come until after Thanksgiving, when Ohio State travels to Minnesota to open its Big 10 schedule.

Links

Dave Tippett has a motorcycle shop in his house.

Bruce Boudreau was ‘grumpy’ at the Wild practice on Monday as Minnesota rode a short bench for multitude of reasons.

The latest in the class-action lawsuit that faces the CHL and threatens to change the landscape of major junior hockey in Canada.

Teams led by Peter Chiarelli and Marc Bergevin benefitting from questionable offseason transactions the two general managers made for the respective organizations, the Edmonton Oilers (Chiarelli) and the Montreal Canadiens (Bergevin).

Jay Bouwmeester reflects upon his career to date as he approaches his 1,000th career NHL game.

Coyotes rookie forward Christian Dvorak gets sent down to the AHL. The 20-year-old had three assists in seven games while averaging 13:45 of ice time per night.

A question nobody has asked, or even thought of – could Matthews/McDavid be the next great NHL rivalry?

In case you missed it: Episode two of the Bobcast with Bob McKenzie. He does a really good job with these, really offers a bit of everything; from inside information to the sharing of knowledge of the game to even veering outside the game. Worth the listen.

Three Stars from the Weekend

CHL

Logan Brown, Windsor: The 11th overall pick of the 2016 draft is off to a blazing start for the Spitfires, with three goals and 14 points in six games. In three games this weekend, the Senators prospect had three goals and eight points. While he won just 39 of 84 faceoffs he took, he got off to a good start in the circle as he began the weekend with 19 wins in 28 draws in a 4-2 win over Mississauga on Thursday night. Brown looks to be well on his way to surpassing the 21-53–74 totals he put up in 2015-16, his second OHL season.

Taylor Raddysh, Erie: The latest playmaker to come through Erie, Raddysh scored twice and assisted on five other goals in three games, two of which were Otters wins. Alex DeBrincat, who made his return to Erie following his first camp with Chicago, which selected him in the second round of June’s draft, had all four of his goals from this weekend assisted by Raddysh. A second-round pick by Tampa Bay in the 2016 draft, the 18-year-old has 10 points in four games.

Dennis Yan, Shawnigan: Yan had five goals in two games over the weekend, both wins for the Cataractes. He scored four goals in the latter of the two wins, a 7-1 win over Val-d’Or. A left winger with good size at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, the Tampa Bay prospect has 30 goals in each of his last two QMJHL seasons. He had 32 goals and 69 points last season for Shawinigan.

NCAA

Max French, Bentley: The Falcons celebrated what may have very well been the biggest win in program history over the weekend with a 5-1 win over UNH. French was the best player on the ice, assisting on three goals while winning 17 of 25 faceoffs. A senior at Bentley, the 24-year-old had 47 points in 32 games as a junior last season. He has 107 career points.

Shane Starrett, Air Force: In a landmark weekend for another Atlantic Hockey school, Air Force knocked off Boston College on Friday night before tying Ohio State on Saturday. In the two games, Starrett stopped 83 of 87 pucks that came his way. Only three of the 49 pucks that came off the tape of Buckeye sticks eluded Starrett.

Robbie Payne, Northern Michigan: Payne had six points in two games this weekend, a split with Wisconsin. Payne had two goals and five points on Saturday night.

Women’s NCAA

Brooke Webster, St. Lawrence: In a win and a tie against Clarkson this weekend, Webster had a goal and three points for the Saints. Twenty-nine of her 44 draws were wins. Coming off two seasons in which she was nearly a point-per-game performer, Webster has eight points through four games to begin her senior season.

Kassidy Sauve, Ohio State: The Buckeyes emerged from a weekend with Wisconsin winless, as most teams do. But Sauve had a strong weekend, making 81 saves on 85 shots, 37 coming in a 1-1 tie in the latter of the two contests. In her first season as a starter for Ohio State, Sauve has a .967 save percentage and 1.23 GAA through four games. Her .967 save percentage ranks third nationally.

Annika Zalewski, St. Cloud State: In a weekend sweep of Merrimack, Zalewski had a goal and five points to go along with a plus-five rating. She won 38 of the 51 faceoffs she took.

US Junior A

Andrew McGlynn, Corpus Christi: In three games, the 19-year-old had five goals in three games, two of which were game-winners. He added two assists onto that tally.

Nathan Bryer, Corpus Christi: Bryer, bound for Mercyhurst next season, had nine points in three games over the weekend, while posting a plus-four. In his third season in the NAHL, Bryer needs just seven points to match his production from last season, in which he posted 17 points in 60 games for the Ice Rays.

David Keefer, Des Moines: The Michigan State commit had three goals and five points in two games for the Buccaneers over the weekend, coming back from a slow start in which he had just two assists over his first five contests.

 

 

Three Stars from Thursday Night: Miller Leads Soo to Second Win

The calm before the weekend storm, there were just two CHL games played on Thursday night. Here were the three best performers from those two games; an OHL matchup between Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor, and a QMJHL showdown between Cape Breton and Charlottetown.

First Star: David Miller, Sault Ste. Marie – Back with Soo after spending parts of two seasons with Kitchener, Miller is out to a strong start to the 2016-17 season. That continued in Thursday’s 3-1 win over Windsor, as he led the Greyhounds with a goal and an assist while winning 10 of 16 draws for the Greyhounds. He has four goals and six points in three games through the early goings of the OHL campaign.

Second Star: Jordan Ty Fournier, Cape Breton – Fournier, a 6-foot-2 left-shot forward and the younger brother of CHL alumni Dillon and Stefan Fournier, scored just six goals in 62 games for Cape Breton last season. He appears to be well on pace to not just matching, but surpassing that total with comfort as he registered a hat trick in Thursday’s 8-3 win for the Screaming Eagles over Charlottetown. His plus-five rating was a game-high.

Third Star: Jake Coughler, Charlottetown – Coughler was one of the brighter spots of an 8-3 loss for the Islanders on Thursday, scoring two of Charlottetown’s three goals while being one of four plus-players on the night for the Islanders, with a plus-two.