SUPERSTAR BRANDON FRANCISCO SIGNS
(Bradford, ON; Sept. 5, 2014)
The Bradford Rattlers have signed junior hockey superstar Brandon Francisco to a contract for the 2014-2015 season.
At 21 years old, Francisco spent three seasons in the OHL with the Sarnia Sting and Kitchener Rangers, and the last two with the Newmarket Hurricanes OJHL team.
A review of Brandon's hockey career will bring light to why this former minor hockey and OHL rookie phenom has come to the Rattlers for his final junior hockey season.
At the age of 14, Brandon was one of Canada's premier hockey prospects. After finishing third in the Ontario AAA Loop, scoring with 107 points for the York Simcoe Express, Brandon was entering his OHL draft year.
At this time, Brandon was ranked #17th Overall by ISS for the upcoming OHL draft -- The only reason he was ranked so low was because of his commitment letter to University of Maine NCAA D1 School as a 14 year old.
OHL Scouts went on record stating Francisco was "one of the most offensively dangerous players in the draft," with "the best hands of any draft eligible forward." His school commitment dropped Brandon to the third round where he was selected by the struggling Sarnia Sting.
After opting to decline his NCAA D1 Offer, Francisco signed with the Sting. (News Conference from 2009 Posted below)
Brandon had a stellar rookie season with 32 points in 60 games. Of which, 20 points came in the final half of the season -- Francisco was touted as one of the up-and-coming talents in the OHL and the Sarnia Sting's top prospect.
In his second OHL year, Brandon lost ice time to the likes of Nail Yakopov (Edmonton Oilers NHL 1st Overall), Alex Gachenyuk (Montreal Canadians NHL 3rd Overall), Brett Ritchie (Team Canada WJC), etc.
Following a trade to the Kitchener Rangers, who were also a top club in the OHL, Brandon still did not receive the ice time he once had in his rookie season. After 188 games and three seasons in the OHL, Brandon opted to drop to Tier II Junior A with the Newmarket Hurricanes.
For the last two seasons, Francisco has been a staple on the Hurricanes top line scoring 120 points in the OJHL.
Brandon is native to Bradford, Ontario and has come to the Rattlers for his final year of junior hockey. General Manager Sylvain Cloutier expressed his excitement for having Brandon with the club: "Brandon is a player we have been working on for months. We drafted him last off-season in the 3rd round -- It took a lot to get him here, but this puts in contention to be a top club this season."
Francisco and the rest of the Bradford Rattlers take to the ice this Sunday, 7:00pm, against the defending champion Bradford Bulls.