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FutureStarrAlex DeBrincat Now With Senators Still Searching For Eelusive Team Success
On January 6th, Alex DeBrincat was traded to the Senators in an effort to finally give their team the success it has been seeking. While they are definitely better than last season, there is still work left to be done before reaching where they desire.
On Wednesday night, Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion acknowledged their team is still some way away from regaining their place among NHL's elite six. But he was optimistic they'd make it there soon with the addition of speedy right shot forward Alex DeBrincat.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old winger was acquired from Chicago for three draft picks - including No. 7 in 2022 NHL Draft. His speedy and slick style will benefit Ottawa immediately; he'll fit into their young core and provide immediate firepower to a team that hasn't made the playoffs in five years but continues to strive for team success.
DeBrincat's future remains uncertain, but he appears more at home in Ottawa than Chicago. His point streak has included three goals in four games - including the game-winner in Monday night's 4-3 overtime win against Calgary - and he's putting more hits on the ice which could help him surpass last season's career high of 101 hits.
His goals and points totals have been lower than they were in Chicago, as he has just 18 goals this season compared to 40 last year. He also takes more shots than usual but scores on fewer of them. His 51.7% goal odds ratio in five-on-five play is his highest since his rookie year but that doesn't translate into actual results: He currently has a minus-15 rating this season.
He's now an integral part of Ottawa's young core, joining players such as Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson, Tim Stutzle and Josh Norris in forming what could potentially become their top six forwards this season.
He still has one more year on his contract, carrying a $6.4 million cap hit, but he's set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. If he stays put in the city, that could translate into a substantial payday; however, if he seeks out the highest bidder then this may not be in his best interests.
After a slow start to the new year, Alex DeBrincat has found his stride with Ottawa and is on a four-game point streak. In those three games alone, he scored three goals and assisted on two others, averaging nearly one point per contest during that span.
On Thursday afternoon, Chicago traded away 24-year-old forward Kyle Turris to Ottawa for three draft picks. As part of the exchange, Chicago received the No. 7 and No. 39 overall picks in 2022 as well as a third-round selection in 2024.
DeBrincat, who missed the playoffs for the first time in his career after being selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft, is searching for another opportunity. After signing a free-agent contract with Ottawa last July, DeBrincat hopes to remain in the league for years to come.
However, he also understands the importance of team success and hasn't seen that in his team this season. Their 26-24-3 record leaves them seven points out of a wild card spot and 13th in the Eastern Conference.
DeBrincat has adjusted his style to the Senators' grind-it-out approach, however. He's been averaging more hits this season but not quite at his previous scoring pace of 41 goals per season. Still, DeBrincat ranks fourth on the team with 18 goals and 44 points this year - down from his 41-goal pace from last season.
He's been a formidable defensive player this season, collecting 139 hits compared to just 108 last season. Unfortunately, that effort hasn't translated into results on the scoreboard as his minus-15 rating shows.
Though they have had a strong start to the season, Ottawa still isn't where they want to be. Sitting 13th in the East and seven points shy of a wild card spot, their play at even strength hasn't improved from last year. That's why Ottawa is eager to add some new pieces this offseason; reports indicate they may make a move for tough winger Auston Watson, durable defenceman Nick Holden and veteran forwards Tyler Motte and Cameron Talbot.
Last summer, Ottawa Senators made a significant acquisition in Alex DeBrincat with hopes that he would help them become Stanley Cup contenders. While that hasn't quite been the case, their success this season can largely be attributed to 24-year-old's impressive play.
DeBrincat remains uncertain whether the Senators can secure his services long term. After all, he has one year left on his contract and will become a restricted free agent next summer.
Though they have yet to announce an extension, it's worth monitoring his situation over the coming months and seasons. He's an impressive young talent who has already expressed an interest in staying with Ottawa; if they can reach an agreement that benefits both sides, then it will be a win-win for everyone involved.
DeBrincat has all the qualities to become an elite scorer in the NHL. He's a gifted winger who can be highly effective on the power play. Additionally, his goal-scoring prowess has been well documented throughout his career.
DeBrincat once again demonstrated his prowess this past season, matching his career high with 41 goals and 37 assists while posting a plus-33 rating. Additionally, he played an integral role in the Blackhawks' power play success last year, scoring 14 of his goals while tallying up 19 power play points for the first time ever.
Now with the Senators, he hopes to make an even greater impact on their team this season. His play has been particularly strong since November 25th when he recorded 18 points in 15 games - leading them to a 9-4-2 record during that span.
If he can replicate his performance from 2022-23 and add more power-play goals to his arsenal, then he will be an invaluable asset for the Senators in years ahead. And that is exactly what they need if they hope to be successful this season and beyond.
The Ottawa Senators have made an incredible trade with the Chicago Blackhawks to acquire leading scorer Alex DeBrincat. This deal represents a phenomenal value and should be seen as a major step in improving their long-term future.
After three seasons with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, DeBrincat has cemented himself as one of the game's premier players. Last season he scored more goals than any other player in franchise history and earned several awards along the way, including CHL Rookie of the Year honors.
He's an impressive player, possessing great vision and exceptional skill to go along with his ability to score from any angle. His versatility in the offensive zone will be a huge advantage for Ottawa as they look to stay competitive against other NHL teams on both ends of the ice.
DeBrincat has improved upon his game with the Senators, now averaging more than five shots per game compared to just over four a year ago. Furthermore, DeBrincat's scoring chances per game have seen significant improvements since his rookie year in the NHL.
DeBrincat not only contributes to the Senators' impressive on-ice performance, but he's also the mastermind behind their powerful power play. He leads the team in goals scored on the PP with four and is tied for most points with five power play assists.
The Senators boast the most 5-on-5 power play opportunities per game in the league with 139, but even at full strength they have an unfavorable goal differential of 33 goals across 5v5, 4v4, and 3-v3 situations combined - not exactly a stat you'd want to show off in your promotional video!