Alex DeBrincat did not have the best season last year with the Chicago Blackhawks. Every time a puck went his way, it just could not find the back of the net. While he was doing everything right, DeBrincat was not getting any bounces. This season has been different.
Alex DeBrincat is second on the Blackhawks in points with 11 goals and 14 assists. Despite missing a few games this season, DeBrincat is still second behind only Patrick Kane in points and has been rather impressive this season.
He has had a few multi-point games this season, and the scary thing is that DeBrincat has been even better away from the puck. The Chicago Blackhawks need Alex DeBrincat to score goals and create offense, but this season, in particular, has highlighted how good he can be away from the puck.
DeBrincat leads the ‘Hawks in takeaways at 16 on the year. No, not David Kampf or Duncan Keith; Alex DeBrincat leads the ‘Hawks in takeaways. That is the main thing I have noticed about DeBrincat’s play this season. While he has been super strong with the puck, his play off the puck has left a lasting impression.
Alex DeBrincat has scored goals all season, but his play away from the puck is what really counts.
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DeBrincat is back-checking like never before and has 18 hits this season despite being one of the team’s smallest guys. He seems so much more competitive and stronger than ever, and it is a good thing.
It is hard to imagine that Alex DeBrincat did not get drafted until the second round of the 2016 NHL draft. Chicago got a steal in that position grabbing DeBrincat, and now they are set for a long time with the winger.
DeBrincat and Kane have recreated some magic Blackhawks have not seen since Kane was paired with Artemi Panarin, and hopefully, this chemistry will only build as time goes on. As those two continue to work with each other this season and score highlight-reel goals, try and imagine how much better they could and will be next season with someone like Kirby Dach centering the line.
Pius Suter has been great between DeBrincat and Kane, but the long-term solution at center between the team’s two top wingers is the franchise’s 2019 third overall draft pick. The Blackhawks are back in action on Thursday night against Tampa Bay, and they are going to need Alex DeBrincat to get involved in some capacity if the Blackhawks are going to come away with a win.