The Carolina Hurricanes have added a little more depth to the organization, signing three minor league forwards to one-year, two-way contracts. Jeremy Bracco, David Gust and Sheldon Rempal will join the organization on contracts worth $700K at the NHL level.
Rempal, 25, is the only one of the three that has NHL experience at this point, with seven games played for the Los Angeles Kings in 2018-19. He was not issued a qualifying offer by the team this offseason, after scoring just four goals in 56 games for the Ontario Reign in 2019-20. An undrafted signing out of Clarkson, Rempal did have a strong offensive season in 2018-19 and could be a solid piece in the AHL.
Gust meanwhile was signed by the Bakersfield Condors in 2017 out of Ohio State University, but ended up playing in Carolina’s minor league system this past season. The 26-year-old scored 31 points in those 60 games with the Charlotte Checkers but shouldn’t be expected to play much of an NHL role at any point.
It’s Bracco that will draw the headlines. Still just 23, he was a second-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015 and had an incredible first few post-draft seasons. In 2016-17 he not only won World Junior gold with Team USA, but also took home the Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires. That Windsor team shocked a powerhouse Erie Otters squad that had the likes of Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, Anthony Cirelli, and coincidentally, Bracco’s new potential teammate Warren Foegele.
Bracco, among the elite powerplay passers in all of professional hockey, unfortunately hasn’t developed the rest of his game enough to earn a chance in the NHL. In 2018-19 he racked up 79 points in 75 games with the Toronto Marlies but dealt with personal issues and clashed with the organization in 2019-20. He ended up playing in 44 games and scored just four goals (still tallying 34 points).
Needing a fresh start, he’ll go to Carolina now where he could still potentially blossom into a legitimate NHL option, at least in sheltered minutes. On a league-minimum deal, it’s certainly worth the risk.