Coming off one of the most dominant OHL seasons in history, forward Alex DeBrincat rises to No. 3 in our Top 25 Under 25 rankings. He’s the top prospect in the Chicago Blackhawks’ system given the two players ahead of him on this list have already played in the NHL.
DeBrincat’s story is familiar to most of you at this point. He’s small — like, very small. Officially listed at 5’7 and 165 pounds, he’d be one of the tiniest players in the NHL. It’s apparent even seeing him from a distance.
But his numbers in juniors are so ridiculous that it’s impossible to ignore him. DeBrincat dominated juniors with his knack for the puck, quick trigger, and high energy level. While it’s not necessarily a package that will translate to the highest level of hockey, the track record so far is indicative of a potential high-level NHL talent.
Birth date: Dec. 18, 1997
Acquired via: 2016 NHL Draft, second round (No. 39)
Most recent stop: Erie Otters (OHL)
Size: 5’7, 165 pounds
Contract: Three years, $778,333 cap hit
It was a sad day when the Blackhawks traded Andrew Shaw to the Canadiens, but we’re very close to being able to see returns from that trade. The team got the No. 39 and 45 picks in the 2016 draft, which it used to select DeBrincat and defenseman Chad Krys, who comes in No. 11 on the T25U25 list.
DeBrincat is an absolute offensive dynamo. In three seasons with the Erie Otters of the OHL, he recorded 167 goals and 332 points in 191 games. In his final year with the team, he earned OHL and CHL player of the year honors and led the Otters to the final game of the Memorial Cup. The stat line for 2016-17 combined: 165 points in 85 games.
Early on in his time with Erie, DeBrincat was seen as potentially benefitting from the talent around him. He played at times with Connor McDavid — yes, him — and 2015 No. 3 overall pick Dylan Strome. But over the past three years, he’s kept pushing his production to new heights…