Amid whispers of being a possible Calder Trophy candidate, DeBrincat has shown he can play in this league, even at 5-foot-7. After being tossed around on nearly every line, DeBrincat is now matched up with Patrick Sharp and David Kampf.
He is tied for first on the team with 14 goals and, regardless of what line he is playing on, he has created scoring chances. He’s the first player to leap from juniors up to the NHL level for the Blackhawks since Kane.
His first couple of weeks, he had to catch up with the speed of the NHL, but since then, he has been really good. He has the hockey sense of where the puck is going to be and where plays should develop. One thing DeBrincat does better than most on this team is get to the net for rebounds or tipped shots — or, if anything, screening the goalie.
While being only 19, DeBrincat has answered the big question of whether he belongs at the NHL level.