OHL top scorer and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat is in Windsor, Ontario this weekend as his league champion Erie Otters compete with champions from across the CHL in an epic tournament for the Memorial Cup. DeBrincat has obviously proven himself to be an elite goalscorer and point producer at the junior level, but how likely is it that his game can translate to the NHL? Just how excited should Hawks fans be getting for DeBrincat?
So far in his career, DeBrincat has post mind-boggling statistics. Three consecutive 100+ point seasons and an OHL playoff scoring title. Pretty impressive. So, what’s the knock on DeBrincat and why did he fall all the way in the 2016 draft to the Blackhawks at 39th overall? In fact, the biggest criticism against DeBrincat is something he has zero control over: his size. Standing at just 5’7” and weighing 170 lbs, he’s never going to strike fear into the hearts of the opposition. Which is ironic, because he should given his ability to break a game open at a moment’s notice.
Despite his small stature, DeBrincat plays a complete game and competes in all areas of the ice. Whether he can continue to play this way at the NHL, where size and strength is a much greater factor, remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure however, DeBrincat has proven everything he possibly can at the junior level. It’s hard to imagine the Blackhawks sending him back to Erie for a fourth consecutive OHL campaign, but because of the CHL and NHL transfer rules, he’s ineligible to play in Rockford of the AHL. Does that mean Hawks fans could see DeBrincat on the big club next season? All signs point to yes so far and a stellar Memorial Cup performance would only strengthen the inevitability.