The Anaheim Ducks 2019 29th overall selection, Brayden Tracey, is often an overlooked draft selection. However, he has a lot to offer to the future of the franchise.
When you’re in a spot much like the Anaheim Ducks, the talent you procure through the draft is often a crucial piece to the future success of the team. Drafting Trevor Zegras 9th overall was not something many fans thought was possible for this franchise. However, here he is, in all his glory; and ready to go pro, I might add. Nevertheless, many fans forget about Brayden Tracey, and what talents he can offer to the future of this team.
Drafted 29th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Tracey was unknown to many Ducks fans prior to Bob Murray proclaiming him as their second first-round pick. Even still, Brayden Tracey is not well known by Ducks fans, especially with the excitement surrounding Trevor Zegras.
Nominated as the WHL’s rookie of the year in 2019, Tracey had an incredible draft season, posting 81 points in 66 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Many experts credit his success to playing alongside seasoned WHL’ers Tristan Langan and Justin Almeida. Nevertheless, with both Langan and Almedia moving to the AHL/ECHL in 2019-20, Tracey’s abilities would truly be put to the test.
Returning to the Moose Jaw Warriors roster to start the season, Tracey would end up posting 38 points in 28 games. However, later in the year, he would end up being traded to the Victoria Royals, where he would post almost a point per game with 23 points in 24 games. With the season cut short, he was still on pace to have an 80 point season.
That is on pace to pretty much match his totals from 2018-19. That is without Langan, Almeida, and dealing with being uprooted and moved to a new team midway through the season. Being traded has enough challenges in and of itself, and Tracey took those challenges in stride and kept his composure in the midst of playing alongside and learning with a new team in a new environment.
The Next Dynamic Duo?
With both Trevor Zegras and Brayden Tracey both in the Anaheim Ducks prospect pool, Bob Murray could have a situation a la Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Zegras has been praised and promoted by fans as Getzlaf’s heir apparent. His playmaking skills are unbelievable and very reminiscent of our Captain.
However, Tracey has the potential to have a big impact as a goal scorer. The two players could have the capability to create another dynamic duo within in Ducks system much like Getzlaf and Perry, who were, for years, one the Ducks’ best pairings in franchise history.
Tracey does have some work to do when it comes to his defensive game. Nevertheless, with his trade to the Victoria Royals, many doors have been opened for the 18-year-old forward that will aid him in rounding out his game. The Royals certainly went all in when trading for such a prolific WHL player such as Brayden Tracey. His first-round status will put a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, but it will also allow him more time and opportunity to gain experience and develop areas of his game that need work.
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Tracey’s Skills Speak for Themselves
Tracey has incredible offensive skills, and in my honest opinion, skills that have yet to be tapped into. His skills mixed with his high hockey IQ, make him a force to be reckoned with on the ice. However, one of his most important characteristics as a player goes far beyond scoring goals. It is his passion and his willingness.
He is a fierce competitor, but he is willing to be shaped and molded to fit the needs of his team. The Ducks need someone in their system who is not content. While that might seem like a negative trait, in Tracey’s case, it is quite the opposite. Stagnant players often find themselves in and out of the NHL in the blink of an eye, but Tracey works twice as hard as anyone else to ensure that he is always improving and that his game never stays the same.
A player with skill is great, but a player with both skills and passion is even better. The Ducks seem to have very few players whose passion can carry the pace of a game. Tracey’s energy is unparalleled to most players his age, and it is someone like him who could easily reignite the spark Anaheim has seemingly lost over the past few years.
Going back to his skills as a goal scorer, he fills an incredible need for the Anaheim Ducks. Murray has been quoted several times and has made it a point of addressing his team’s scoring issues. He has incredible puck skills, which, when paired with his great hand-eye coordination, allow him to utilize his dangerous and quick shot. Tracey’s patience has also played a big part in his success, allowing him to see the ice well and remain level headed.
Tracey’s skills already speak for themselves, and as I have stated in the past, he was a steal at 29th overall. As he continues to develop, his skills will continue to help him shine as he transitions into the NHL. Don’t let his 29th overall draft status fool you. Granted, he wasn’t drafted as high as Zegras, but he has the capabilities to possibly be just as good. While it is easy to overlook Brayden Tracey, it’s time you start learning his name, because he could be a key piece in the future of this Anaheim Ducks team.
Bob Murray has made his fair share of questionable draft picks in the past, but is it possible that his choices in 2019 with Zegras and Tracey could go down next to 2003 as one of the Ducks’ best draft years in the first round? Let us know in the comments below.
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