Analysis

Blackhawks: Checking in on Hawks’ Prospect Alex DeBrincat

In the midst of another tremendous season with the Erie Otters, we check in on Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat.

Alex DeBrincat, the Chicago Blackhawks 39th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft is coming off of a pair of 100-point seasons with the Erie Otters of the OHL, and continuing to experience the same success this season.

In the 2014-2015 season with the Erie Otters, DeBrincat played along side Edmonton Oilers phenom Connor McDavid, in a season in which he scored 104 points on 51 goals and 53 assists. The 2015-2016 season was equally impressive for the five-foot-seven winger, recording 101 points on 51 goals and 50 assists for the Otters.

The 2016-2017 season has been just as good for the 19 year-old winger out of Farmington Hills, Michigan. Through his first 42 games DeBrincat has recorded 81 points on 38 goals and 43 assists in his third season with the Erie Otters of the OHL.

DeBrincat has also recorded 35 points in 33 playoff games during his time with the Otters, scoring 17 goals while recording 18 assists.

DeBrincat’s 81 points leads the OHL in scoring this season, and the the youngster’s undeniable ability to score has the Blackhawks understandably excited for his impending arrival to the NHL. According to Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman, the only thing holding DeBrincat back from making the jump to the NHL at this point is his need to add body strength to his five-foot-seven frame.

Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman had this to say about DeBrincat’s progression and his chances at joining the Blackhawks at some point in 2017-2018;

“It’s going to be a big summer for him,” Bowman said. “If he can get his strength up to NHL-caliber, no question he’s got the ability.

“He’s got that innate sense of how to get into open areas and score goals. That’s probably an overlooked talent. You can’t really teach that. It’s an instinct and he’s got it. It’s a great season for him.”

Some thought that DeBrincat’s incredible Rookie of the Year campaign in the OHL during the 2014-2015 season may have been attributed to playing with Edmonton Oilers phenom Connor McDavid, until he did the same this again the following season in 2015-2016. At this point the Blackhawks have no doubt that he is a perennial All-Star scorer in the making, evident by Stan Bowman’s high praise of the 19 year-old this week;

“You weren’t sure if his first year was the Connor McDavid effect or is he really this good,” Bowman said. “Then he did it again.

“He has elite talent and that’s what’s allowed him to do that. Alex is not that far from being an NHL player.”

DeBrincat has some work left this season with the Erie Otters, and then a big summer ahead to prove to the Blackhawks front-office and player development staff that he can gain the strength necessary to handle the grind of an 82 game season in the NHL.

Before DeBrincat begins his summer though, he has a prestigious honor ahead of him in the OHL this season, now within striking distance of Brad Boyes for the Otters franchise record for goals (141) scored and points (309). DeBrincat currently has 140 goals, and 286 points. DeBrincat is also currently the franchise leader in game-winning-goals with 20 of them to date.

At just 19 years-old, and after just three seasons, the youngster may finish his tenure in the OHL as the Erie Otters all-time leading scorer if he continues his excellent season. Look for DeBrincat to make the jump to the NHL sooner, rather than later, adding to the Blackhawks current group of plus performing youngsters.

 

 

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