DeBrincat heads to Ottawa

Ottawa senators got their hands on it Alex DeBrincat in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks hours before the first round of the 2022 Upper Deck Draft.

In exchange for the forward, the Blackhawks will earn the seventh overall pick in the 2022 draft, the Senators’ second-round pick (39th overall), and a third-round pick in 2024.

Alex DeBrincat was without a doubt our number one goal. For us he is a player who brings character, can count and wants to win.

“He knows we’re an emerging team, a growing team. He was very happy to join us. »

DeBrincat has 78 points, including 41 goals, in 82 games this season. The 24-year-old winger has one season left on a three-year, $19.2 million contract ($6.4 million annualized average), which he signed on October 3, 2019.

Dorion has yet to speak to DeBrincat’s agent, who may become a restricted free agent at the end of his contract, but he’s hoping to settle down with his new forward in the long term.

Debrincat is eligible for a contract extension beginning July 13.

In Ottawa, DeBrincat is led by trainer DJ Smith, whom he faced in the junior ranks. Dorion said Smith considered the possibility of pairing DeBrincat with Tim Stützle.

“DJ tells us that not only can he score goals, but he thinks he has a completely unusual feel,” said Dorion. He is able to play games in tight spaces. »

With this trade, the Senators have no choice until the end of the second round, their 64th overall. Dorion hinted that the defender Thomas Chabot was to announce the team’s first-round pick, but he wasn’t too disappointed not to complete the task.

Speaking of disappointment, Dorion said his amateur scouts would have liked to have made a first-round pick, but fully understood why the team made the trade.

“My scouts told me they had a clause in their contract that would give them a bonus for making the playoffs…they told me they were looking forward to it,” Dorion joked.

The Senators missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth straight year due to their 33-42-7 record.

Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said June 29 that he would not close the door on trading with DeBrincat.

“There are certain players who are untouchable because of their contract status. These are achievements that these players have earned. We will respect that,” commented Davidson. “But we’re in a position where we’re listening (to the offers). I think it would be illogical to do anything else. »

Davidson had also indicated that he was evaluating his options to earn a first-round pick this year.

“We don’t have one at the moment and it would be nice to have one, but we’re not going to force anything,” he said. If you try to force things, you make mistakes. We’ll see if we can get our hands on a first-round pick, we’d love to. However, this may not be possible. »

The Blackhawks (27-42-11) did not qualify for the playoffs this season. They have won just one series — in the 2020 Stanley Cup qualifying round against the Edmonton Oilers — since winning the 2015 Stanley Cup for the third time in six seasons (2010 and 2013). Davidson continues to believe it’s a rebuild that will return the Blackhawks to what made them so successful not long ago.

A second-round pick in the 2016 draft (39th overall), DeBrincat has 307 points (160 goals, 147 assists) in 368 regular-season games and six points (two goals, four assists) in nine playoff games.

“We thank Alex for his tireless service to the Blackhawks organization over the past five seasons and wish him the best of luck in Ottawa,” said Davidson. It was an extremely difficult decision to trade a player of this caliber. We believe this gesture lays the foundation for the Blackhawks’ future success. If we can get our hands on a first-round pick tonight and another second-round pick tomorrow, we can strengthen our pool of potential players with some very talented players who we believe can make the difference for years to come. »

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