The two-time 40-goal scorer is ready to continue that trend with the Senators
When Alex DeBrincat was traded to the Senators last month it is fair to say the fanbase was just as surprised as the player. It’s not often a player with the offensive talent and goal scoring prowess of DeBrincat becomes available.
One of the leagues most dangerous threats around the net, the 24-year-old is arguably entering the prime of his career heading into his 6th NHL season. Just as the trade may have caught the fanbase off guard, there is no doubt it caught the former Blackhawk by surprise.
Drafted by the Blackhawks with the 39th overall pick in 2016, DeBrincat has gone from strength to strength whilst learning from one of the most skilled players in the game, Patrick Kane.
You could not be faulted for thinking that the man nicknamed the ‘Cat’ would be a longterm staple in the Blackhawks lineup for years to come. But as the Blackhawks decided to strip their roster back, the Senators saw an opportunity to bolster their offensive depth.
Now that the dust has settled on the deal and the emotions presumably calmed, DeBrincat should see the great opportunity that he has in front of him. He slots into this Sens team at a time where the team and the fanbase is ready to take the next step. A step that takes this team to the playoffs for the first time since the 16-17 season.
The team’s 33-42-7 record this year may suggest that the team is not quite there, but this upcoming season feels different. The optimism is back, the money has been spent and fans have a genuine reason to be excited and to rally around this team.
Pierre Dorion has to be credited for his urgency to improve the roster over the offseason. Cam Talbot should provide the Sens with a solid tandem in net alongside Anton Forsberg, and there is no hiding the excitement surrounding the arrival of Ottawa’s own, Claude Giroux.
Analysing his situation, Alex DeBrincat will see that he is entering a team that is ready to win now. A predicted 2nd line pairing alongside Giroux and Stutzle, who Sens’ fans are also hoping can take the next step, and this team should give DeBricant every opportunity to take his game to another level.
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The Cat played all 82 games this past season putting up 78 pts (41g, 37a), thus being the main scoring threat for the Blackhawks on a nightly basis. He was the only Blackhawk to play all 82 games and finished 15 goals ahead of the next best goalscorer, Patrick Kane (26g).
This upcoming season, DeBrincat has the opportunity to further increase his goal scoring tally. The Sens’ power-play looks significantly more dangerous with a Sniper like DeBrincat, and the quality surrounding him suggests he should find the net regularly.
The Sens’ power-play ranked 20th in the league last season with 47 goals (19.3%). DeBrincat himself starred on the Blackhawks’ power-play netting 14 goals and 28pts. What lies ahead of him in the nation’s capital is a roster full of talent predominantly similar ages to himself.
Brady Tkachuk (22), Drake Batherson (24), Tim Stutzle (20), Josh Norris (23) and Jake Sanderson (20) all have their best years ahead of them. Everything on paper looks a treat for the Cat but only time will tell how he fits into this Senators line up.
One thing we do know though is that DJ Smith will reward hard work, and a player of DeBrincat’s cut of cloth will be put in the best possible positions to succeed.
This may only be year one in Ottawa for DeBrincat but feels potentially the start of a long and successful relationship.