With one preseason game remaining on Chicago’s schedule, he’ll soon await word to see if that becomes a reality — at least to begin the new campaign.
DeBrincat put up tremendous numbers in junior, scoring more than 50 goals and 100 points in each of his three seasons in Erie, while playing one year with Edmonton’s phenom forward Connor McDavid. Selected in the second round, 39th overall, by Chicago in 2016, he’s been productive for the Blackhawks during the preseason and, with final roster decisions to be made, his play has garnered the attention of the coaching staff led by Joel Quenneville.
“I just think he has the ability to make plays. The finish is what we like, as well. Just seems like every time he’s around the puck, something good happens,” Quenneville told reporters.
“We certainly like his camp and we know that he can play with anybody, and that’s a good trait.”
On Thursday against the Red Wings, DeBrincat had a goal and two points to go along with three shots on net. Through the preseason, he has played four games, with two goals and three points, while averaging almost four shots on goal per game.
He’s still 19 years old and listed at 5-foot-7 tall, without any professional experience. Chicago also may not have the space up front, with 14 forwards currently on the roster, and Blackhawks fans have been previously cautioned that DeBrincat may not make the jump to the NHL to begin the season.
“It’s kind of not for me to say,” DeBrincat said, when asked by Blackhawks TV reporter Eric Lear if he was ready for the NHL. “I’m giving it my all out here and I’m trying to show them I’m ready but it’s kind of up to them. They have a plan for me and I think we just want to stick to that.”
The Blackhawks conclude the preseason Saturday against the Boston Bruins. They will open the season Thursday against the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.