Chicago Blackhawks fans can rest easy. Alex DeBrincat has signed an extension.
After an offseason where teams were held hostage by their restricted free agents, see the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs, the Chicago Blackhawks have gotten in front of the issue to lock up one of their rising stars.
On the eve before puck drop, the Blackhawks have extended forward Alex DeBrincat to a three year extension worth $19.2 million ($6.4 million AAV).
This extension for DeBrincat is a big one. While many among the fan base would be hoping for that six to seven year extension, this bridge deal gives DeBrincat financial security. It also gives the Blackhawks a reasonable cap number to deal with in the upcoming seasons.
The comparable for Alex DeBrincat’s contract would be Jets forward Patrik Laine, who this offseason signed a two year extension worth $6.75 million per season and has also been a perennial goal scorer.
Laine has only been in the league one more season than DeBrincat, but could have similar trajectories, with Laine taking a bit of a step back in his third season with “only” 50 points.
If DeBrincat can continue to build on his success over the past two seasons, the contract that he just signed should be quite a value for the Blackhawks going forward.
Now, our eyes turn to the other major RFA the Blackhawks will have this offseason, Dylan Strome.
Strome has had a resurgence since being traded to the Blackhawks in 2018, with a near point-per-game pace last season at 51 points in 58 games with Chicago.
While growth is something we expect from Strome, it might be unwise to expect the point-per-game pace that he nearly accomplished last season, as he looks to fully round out his game as a second line center.
Now with DeBrincat secured for the next four seasons, he can focus on continuing his growth as a goal scorer and a hockey player.
While I don’t know that he can reach Patrick Kane levels of scoring, I don’t think it is unreasonable to think the new six million dollar man can reach 50 goals this season.