Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane scored his 400th goal and put himself into an elite group.
He’ll be debated as one of the greatest Blackhawks of all-time, as well as one of the greatest US-born players of all time. With Chicago in the midst of a youth movement, the question now is which American player will be the next to reach such a lofty milestone?
Naturally, the obvious choice for the Chicago Blackhawks is Michigan native Alex DeBrincat. Other players will have a chance to get there before DeBrincat, but he could very well be the next Blackhawk.
The former 39th overall pick appears to have regained the scoring touch that eluded him last year. Somewhat overshadowed by Kane’s 400th goal was DeBrincat’s 4 point night in the same game. Something that shouldn’t be dismissed.
Will DeBrincat have success rival to Patrick Kane‘s? Probably not. Kane is an extremely decorated player, and he’s not done. It’s hard to imagine DeBrincat being in conversations of “greatest US-born player” of all time, but 400 goals? For a sharpshooter like DeBrincat, that’s doable.
In 253 games, DeBrincat has racked up 98 regular-season goals, and two in the postseason. That’s an even 100, which is pretty stellar for a guy who was picked in the 2nd round. This is DeBrincat’s fourth season, but both last year and this year have been shortened because of COVID-19. By contrast, Patrick Kane was able to play four full seasons once he entered the NHL in 2007-08.
From the beginning of his first season until 2010-11, Kane racked up regular season103 goals and another 20 in the postseason. 123 goals in four seasons are pretty impressive by anyone’s standard. Yes, in those four seasons Kane added a little more hardware to his trophy case than DeBrincat, but the goals are pretty similar. Awards aside, in the end, what will really separate them is points. DeBrincat can score goals at the same pace, but Kane will end up with more points.
While it’s early in DeBrincat’s career, he’s slowly evolving into an elite player. Even with two shortened seasons under his belt, he’s piling up goals just about as fast as the man that is arguably going to go down as the greatest US-born player of all time. Time will tell, but DeBrincat absolutely has what it takes to enter the same elite club that Kane is now in.