Analysis

Blackhawks: Alex Debrincat Will Need to Step Up This Season

Alex DeBrincat #12, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Alex DeBrincat #12, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Alex Debrincat is expected to be named an alternate captain over the likes of Connor Murphy and Seth Jones.

Alex Debrincat has caught the attention of the front office and the coach with his play on ice, but his leadership seems to have caught their attention as well. He is expected to be announced as one of the alternate captains for the season, with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews returning as the full-time captain of the team.

He was a top-ten talent in his draft class, but his size turned teams away. The Blackhawks picked him up in the second round and what a steal it has been. Debrincat is among the top snipers of the league, but he can also pass and even throw his body around. With that said, he will need to step up his game a bit more if he enters a leadership role.

As a leader of a hockey franchise, the performance of the team will fall back on you, even if it’s not your fault. You could be on fire but lose 5 games straight via blowout, and those 5 loses will be on you. Why? Because you are the leader, you are expected to motivate your teammates and keep them engaged throughout the game, regardless of the situation. Though Debrincat is still young, the team will need him to be even more impactful on the ice than he already has.

Toews has proven to be a great captain, leading his teams to 3 Stanley Cups and 5 Conference finals, and Kane has grown into a leadership role that was, in my opinion, long overdue. Leaders step it up when the team needs them to, such as Patrick Kane’s hat trick in 2013 in Game 5 vs the Kings, and Toews’ performance in Game 5 vs Anaheim in 2015. Debrincat will be expected to perform in clutch situations with needed goals throughout the season.

Debrincat will be playing with Patrick Kane, so his goal count should improve from last season. But, as I said earlier, a leader is more than just a great player. Could Debrincat really help lead the Blackhawks back to contention with his impact both on and off the ice?

I think so.

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