Alex DeBrincat is currently on pace to be a Chicago Blackhawks’ all-time great.
After a really solid rookie campaign with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2017-18, Alex DeBrincat really came into his own during his second NHL season.
In his second season, DeBrincat posted 76 points (41G, 35A) with a 0 ± rating in 82 games. This would be the second time in two seasons where he played in all 82 games.
After taking a second look at his breakout season, I started to wonder where DeBrincat ranked among some of the Blackhawks’ all-time greats. Luckily, we have been blessed with an amazing hockey website called Hockey Reference.
Thanks to their hard work, I was able to answer my own question and shine a light on a player who deserves more recognition. I don’t think DeBrincat is getting his fair share of the spotlight among the hockey community.
This is where I come in and highlight the amazing pace Alex DeBrincat is on. Without further ado, let’s dive in and see where DeBrincat stands among the Chicago Blackhawks’ all-time greats, through each of their second NHL seasons.
The Chicago Blackhawks have some notable players hitting unrestricted free agency in 2020 and it could be a problem down the road if not handled properly.
The Chicago Blackhawks have a lot of core pieces in place. The fact of the matter is though most of their locked up pieces are on the older side. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are still superstars but they are both on the wrong side of 30. There are a few more good years of production from them coming but the do need some younger reinforcements soon.
They do appear to have some of those on the horizon. They struck gold when they won one of the draft lottery spots at the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery. They earned the right to make the third overall pick in the draft. They selected Kirby Dach and believe he is a part of the future core. He will eventually join Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome as the younger core.
DeBrincat and Strome are both on expiring contracts. They are both going to need extensions before the 2020-21 season begins. DeBrincat is more proven out of the two and getting him a nice contract that the Blackhawks probably aren’t wary of doing. Strome had a really good year following his trade to Chicago from the Arizona Coyotes but he might need to prove he can do it again. This year will be a big year for both of them as they are looking to cash in.
Strome was the third overall pick by the Coyotes in the 2015 NHL Draft. He struggled to be consistent with them but he regained his form when he was reunited with his Erie Otters teammate Alex DeBrincat after being traded to Chicago. DeBrincat, who was a second-round pick in the 2016 Draft, has been one of the best goal scorers in the league since making his NHL Debut.
Both of these guys need contracts that might be a bit expensive. The NHL has seen some issues with young RFAs lately. We are a few weeks out from the season beginning and superstars like Mitch Marner, Mikko Rantanen, and Patrik Laine amongst others are not signed. The Hawks would be smart to not let their young players get to that stage. It is always good to have stability with your contract and that helps players. You never want to see your guys miss a minute of training camp or beyond.
You saw it in 2018-19 when the Toronto Maple Leafs saw William Nylander miss the opening few months of the season due to an inability to come to terms on a contract extension until December. It clearly affected him as he was never able to truly able to get in a rhythm. He went from being a really good player in his first few years to being very underwhelming once he finally signed his extension. The Blackhawks don’t want that to happen to any of their players. They just got Brendan Perlini done right in time for training camp to begin and they need to do the same with Strome and DeBrincat by this time next year.
Based on the fact that this issue looms, I would expect them both to have big years for the Blackhawks. They both know they will be handsomely paid and it could be even better if they have big years. It is good that the Blackhawks have players like this in the fold to be great depth scoring after their top line.