Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Say Hello to New Defenseman Alec Regula

By Tony Gianares
Alec Regula, #72, London Knights (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Alec Regula, #72, London Knights (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Taking a closer look at the newest Chicago Blackhawks’ defensive prospect, Alec Regula. Regula was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Brendan Perlini.

The whole trade probably would not have happened if it weren’t for Brendan Perlini’s trade request. After being scratched in 9 of 10 games in 2019-20, Perlini finally put his foot down and I cannot fault him for that. The Chicago Blackhawks did right by moving Perlini, and also, getting a defensive prospect with upside in return.

When you first look at your newest Chicago Blackhawks’ defensive prospect, you notice a few things. Alec Regula, 19, is a right-handed defenseman. This works out pretty well for the Blackhawks, considering their current plethora of left-handed defensemen.

Another thing that stands out about Regula is his size. He stands at an impressive 6’4″ 205 lbs as a 19-year-old. Regula is certainly ready for the physical aspect of the NHL, but what else does he bring to the table?

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Who Is Alec Regula?

Alec Regula is a Michigan native and grew up rooting for the Red Wings. What a rollercoaster of emotions he must be feeling after being drafted by his favorite team, and then, being traded to their longtime rival, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Before being drafted, Regula spent one season with the Chicago Steel (USHL) in 2016-17 and one season with the London Knights (OHL) in 2017-18. He was selected in the third round of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

Since being drafted, Regula has put together an impressive OHL career with the London Knights. He also played alongside Adam Boqvist last season, so the familiarity will definitely be a positive down the line, when these two meet up in the AHL or NHL.

In the OHL, Alec Regula has racked up 75 points (22G, 53A) with a 69 ± rating in 143 career games. He currently has 11 points (4G, 7A) with a 14 ± rating in 10 games this season.

For being a bigger defenseman, Regula can skate fairly well and he isn’t afraid to jump into a play in the offensive zone. Watch for #72 — sorry for the Artemi Panarin flashbacks — and the way he reads the defense and finds the soft spot. Alec Regula regularly displays a great shot and flashes playmaking abilities.

I wasn’t sure what Brendan Perlini’s trade value was, but I’m glad Stan Bowman found a way to get this type of return for him. It’s not that Perlini is necessarily a bad player, but he hasn’t been playing much.

When Perlini finally received ice time, he was inconsistent and did not always impress. I will gladly take a promising defenseman in exchange for a player who had already been a healthy scratch 9 times this season.

What is the Timetable for Alec Regula?

Alec Regula is currently playing for the London Knights, as their co-captain, and he will remain there for the rest of the 2019-20 season. Beyond that, the plans for this defensive prospect are still to be determined. It would be best to not rush Regula, just like with any other young, developing hockey player.

Regula has yet to sign an NHL entry-level contract, which means that the Blackhawks will need to sign him by June 1, 2020 to retain his rights. If they are unable to come to terms by then, Regula would become a free agent. Let’s hope both sides can agree on a deal, because the Blackhawks can’t afford another Kevin Hayes situation.

Overall, I see this trade as a win for the Chicago Blackhawks. I also want to take a moment to wish nothing, but the best for Brendan Perlini. Chicago, along with myself, didn’t want to see you go, but we understand. Thank you for the good times and good luck on your journey.

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