3. Will Alex DeBrincat bounce back?
Let’s face it, Alex DeBrincat had somewhat of a disappointing campaign last year. He went from posting an impressive total of 76 points in his sophomore season to only 45 points in 2019-20, which was the last year of his Entry-Level Contract. So what caused this sudden decline in production?
A big part of this drastic change was in the goal-scoring department. DeBrincat scored an astounding 41 goals in 2018-19, but only managed to light the lamp 18 times in 2019-20. His shooting percentage dipped by a whopping 10% between the two seasons, from 18.7% in 18-19 to only 8.7% this past year. This was concerning for Chicago, as DeBrincat had just signed a three-year, $19,200,000 contract extension at the start of last season.
DeBrincat did manage to have a very impressive showing during the Stanley Cup Qualifiers and Playoffs, as he managed to put up 6 points (2 G, 4 A) in only 9 games played.
Because of the injury to Kirby Dach and the unknown status of Jonathan Toews, it is looking like DeBrincat will have the opportunity to spend the majority of the season on the first line. The Blackhawks hope he will take full advantage of the circumstances, and live up to the $6.4 million salary-cap hit he will cost this season.
Assuming that lines that the Hawks have been running in practice will be the same once the puck drops next week, Alex will have ample opportunity to return to his former numbers.
DeBrincat will be paired alongside Patrick Kane, who we all know will continue to lead the charge for the Blackhawks as he does every season. His best friend Dylan Strome is also centering the line, and everyone clearly knows that the pair have an immense amount of chemistry as demonstrated by their days with the Erie Otters.
Speaking of centers, that is another big question mark on the Chicago Blackhawks’ hands right now due to the events that have occurred over the last few weeks…