After an off-season marred by uncertainty surrounding forward Jeremy Bracco, it appears that the saga is coming to a ominous end. Mike McMahon of College Hockey News first reported earlier this morning that Bracco is leaving the program. BC athletics has since confirmed the report.
This marks the second time in two years a high profile recruit has spurned the BC hockey program. Prior to the 2014-15 season, Sonny Milano signed with the Canadian Hockey League, causing a stir in the NCAA hockey universe. Unlike Milano, and Kenny Ryan who left the program after an exhibition game, Bracco will be leaving during the middle of the season. While not unheard of in college hockey, this is a marked change from conventional wisdom and certainly one of the more stunning in-season departures in recent memory.
While the first-year student's plans to leave BC come as a shock following the original decision to come to the Heights, the decision to come to Kitchener is not. Bracco had been linked to Kitchener all summer, with rumors circulating that the decision to spurn BC would come sooner than the season. Bracco ended the speculation this summer when he posted on his Twitter that he would be going to BC.
Rumors are false just want everyone to know I will be attending BC this fall very excited to put on the Eagles jersey #Eagles— Jeremy Bracco (@jbracco97) July 24, 2015
Clearly the itch to go to the CHL was never rectified.
According to sources, the timing of the news came as a complete shock to those inside the program. Bracco was at practice yesterday, and there were no rumblings on Twitter as of this morning that anything might be up with him.
BC Athletics did not make Jerry York or anyone from the coaching staff available for comment regarding Bracco's departure.
We will have more on this story as it develops, including reaction from BCI's hockey analysts Joe Gravellese and Grant Salzano on how this impacts the team moving forward.