We here at Silver Seven Sens don’t get to watch a tonne of non-Sens hockey, so to better understand Alex DeBrincat, we reached out to sister blog Second City Hockey for their take on the latest addition to the Ottawa Senators.
1) We’ve seen the impressive stats, but from a regular observer, what are Debrincat’s strengths and weaknesses?
The goal-scoring is the obvious answer, considering he’s already had a pair of 40-goal seasons. He’s excellent at reading the play and moving to an open position where he can get a shot away. The word “cerebral” comes to mind in how he reads the game, always seeming to be one step ahead of his opponents. And when he finds an open lane, he has a good, accurate shot that may not be the hardest in the world but always seems to find the open portions of the net.
DeBrincat has also slowly worked his way into an all-around player. When he had a massive goal-scoring slump during the 2019-20 season that carried into the 2020 bubble, he still found ways to contribute with some crucial assists that helped the Blackhawks upset the Oilers in the qualifying round. Last season, he even added PK time to his agenda. Wouldn’t call him the second coming of Marian Hossa on defense, but he has a willingness to contribute there as well.
The only thing close to a weakness I could offer on him is that he is only 5-7, 165 pounds. That does limit him in some ways. He probably won’t be the type of guy to rack up end-to-end goals but he still has enough talent that he’d score 25-30 goals on just about any team. Pair him up with a winger who can get him the puck in scoring positions (as Patrick Kane did for years), and DeBrincat could even flirt with 50.
2) What endeared him to fans so much?
Everyone loves an underdog story and DeBrincat’s rise from an overlooked prospect because of his size to a legitimate All-Star player would’ve endeared him to any fan base that was along for the ride. And he’s been damn near the only consistent thing to watch on this team for the last five years.
Also, he’s a little bit more ornery than his size would suggest. Just ask Sam Girard. DeBrincat would throw his body around at times, too. Just another thing that seemed to earn the collective respect of fans.
3) What do you think his next contract looks like?
Rich! It’s a two-time 40-goal scorer who’s getting better in all phases of the game and will only turn 25 in December. He’s just hitting his prime. I’d assume the minimum AAV is $9 million for a longer deal and exceeding $10 million would not be a surprise. He’s going to cost a lot, but he should be worth it.