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The 21st overall pick in the 2016 WHL Draft, it took Brayden Tracey some time before he cracked the Moose Jaw Warriors lineup on a full-time basis. Once he got his chance though, he made the most of it, putting up 36 goals and 45 assists for 81 points in 66 games. It was enough to win him the WHL Rookie of the Year Award. Tracey led the league in goals, assists and points by a rookie. Tracey had just one point in two playoff games. He was hurt late in the regular season and missed much of the Warriors first-round loss to the Saskatoon Blades in a four-game sweep.
Tracey has represented Canada internationally. He played for Canada Red at last years Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He would bring home a silver medal from the tournament. This spring he joined Team Canada for the IIHF Under-18 World Championships and put up four goals and three assists for seven points in seven games. Unfortunately, Canada would finish fourth in the tournament.
Brayden Tracey Scouting Report
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born May 28th, 2001 — Calgary, Alberta
Height 6’0″ — Weight 177 lbs [183 cm / 80 kg]
Tracey shows good skating ability. He is more quick than fast though. He has a very good first few steps and strong acceleration. However, his top-end speed is merely good, not great. This allows Tracey to get to loose pucks and dart in and out of openings in the offensive zone, but he is not going to create a lot of breakaway or odd-man rush opportunities. Tracey also has very good edgework and agility which allows him to make quick moves and avoid defenders. He has good size but needs to add core strength in order to improve his strength on the puck and balance.
Tracey is a very smart offensive player. He has a knack for finding openings in the defence and getting into those spots. This sets him up to take a pass from a teammate and convert with a quick wrist shot or one-timer. Tracey’s shot is strong and accurate and he has a quick release. A natural goal scorer, he can also convert in tight to the net with good hand-eye coordination and the ability to pounce on rebounds. He doesn’t always show the willingness to battle in those key areas though, Tracey prefers to dart in and out of those positions. If the defenders play him physically, he can have a tendency to play a bit of a perimeter game.
Tracey uses his smarts to be a playmaker as well. He anticipates where his linemates are going and he has the patience to wait for them to get open. He can make tape-to-tape passes through tight areas to set up scoring chances. Tracey is a good stick-handler and combines this with his agility and edgework to make subtle moves to shake defenders and open up passing lanes.
Tracey needs to show more commitment in the defensive end of the ice. He does not like to play a physical game, preferring to use his stick to try and steal the puck. This can work at times, but he can also look silly when beaten by opponents. He could also do more work in supporting the defence down low and working physically against the cycle game. Away from the puck, Tracey can get caught puck watching and stop moving his feet, which can lead to his opponent’s getting open for a good scoring chance.
Projection and Comparison
Tracey is a bit of a boom or bust prospect. If he develops properly, he could become a top-six forward in the NHL. There was some concern that Tracey’s production was due to playing on the Warriors top line with Justin Almeida and Tristin Langdon as well as plenty of time with Josh Brook or Jett Woo on the blueline. Tracey’s performance at the U-18 alleviated some of that concern. However, he still needs real work on his defensive game and on playing against physical opponents. Without this, he is unlikely to succeed as a third or fourth line player if his offensive game does not fully develop. His game is similar to Jason Pominville, however, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Brayden Tracey that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect in our NHL Draft series.
Embed from Getty Images
KELOWNA, BC – JANUARY 16: Brayden Tracey #7 of the Moose Jaw Warriors skates against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on January 16, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)