Chicago Blackhawks: How good can Alex DeBrincat be?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Alex DeBrincat is only in his second season with the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL, and while he has already made a pretty big impact, how good can he get?

Alex DeBrincat is not the biggest guy in the NHL, but his game is pretty big. At 5-foot 7-inches and 165 pounds, he stands as one of the smaller guys in the league. That does not stop him from being a very effective player for the Chicago Blackhawks. He has made a pretty significant impact since his arrival in Chicago, and some wonder how he slipped to the second round of his 2016 NHL draft.

DeBrincat came from Farmington Hills, Michigan before being a part of the Erie Otters major junior team in the OHL. DeBrincat’s time with Erie was one of the best possible times to be on that team.

He got to play with the greatest hockey player in the world before he was considered the greatest hockey player in the world, Connor McDavid. In McDavid’s last year with Erie before being the number one pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, DeBrincat scored 51 goals and 53 assists for 104 points in 68 games.

His success with McDavid showed some people that DeBrincat is very good at being a wingman to an elite playmaker, and that is exactly what he was given at the NHL level when the Chicago Blackhawks took him in the second round 39th overall.

You knew the connection with Patrick Kane could be something that develops very quickly, as DeBrincat has shown at a junior level that he can play with the best players, maybe that would be something that comes to fruition in the NHL.

In his rookie season in the NHL, he played all 82 games and scored 28 goals and added 24 assists for 52 points. He is now in his second season and through 47 games he has 23 goals and 15 assists for 38 points.

He is only 5 goals short of his total from last season and we are just a bit over the halfway point in the season. He is progressing well. He does not always play on a line with Patrick Kane, and he has a good enough shot and pursuit of the puck to score some goals on his own, but his best play comes when he plays with someone like Kane who can create space for him.

So how far can this kid go? What is his ceiling? That is very hard to predict just like it is for most young players. But there is something that stands out about this player that says a lot about his career trajectory.

As we stand right now, he is on pace for 40 goals and 26 assists, which would be good for 62 points. That would be an excellent season for a second-year player, especially one found in the second round.

With that said, the 40 goals would be 64% of his total point production, and there is nothing wrong with that, he is just a pure goal scorer. With a guy who is as big of a dual threat on the ice as Kane, a pure goal scorer like DeBrincat is going to score a lot of goals.

He has a chance to score goals at a high rate, as having a 40 goal season at age 21 would say a lot about his potential. Even if his pace slows down and he ends up in the mid-30s in goals, that would also be impressive. The kid is a great goal scorer, and he should only get better as time goes on and he gets more ice time.

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This is also not to say that his playmaking game couldn’t improve. He could absolutely add good playmaking to his game and pile up some more assists to go along with his goals and be a very good all-around offensive player. He has plenty of mentors on the team to help his game grow, and should have a very nice and long career. He is not a guy that can be the best player on a championship roster, but he can be one of the key core pieces for sure.

Could he be a guy who adds the playmaking aspect to his game and chip in 35-40 assists to a 35-40 goal total and potentially be a 70-80 point man? Absolutely he could. Either way, he is going to be a very good player for a long time, the fans just have to hope that the Chicago Blackhawks put the right players around him during his prime so he can experience the postseason sooner than later.