CHICAGO (AP) — Alex DeBrincat is listed at 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, and that might be a little generous. There is nothing about his appearance that even hints at his profession.
And then he hits the ice.
The 19-year-old DeBrincat is trying to grab a spot on the Chicago Blackhawks after leading the Erie Otters to the Ontario Hockey League championship in May. While he is a long shot to make the team out of training camp, there are openings on Chicago’s bottom three lines and it looks as if he could get a chance at some point this season.
“I think I have to show them that I’m strong enough and fast enough to play in the NHL,” DeBrincat said, “and obviously I have to score goals. That’s what I’m here for. If I do those things, then it’s going to be good for me and gives me more opportunity.”
DeBrincat was one of the top attractions at the Blackhawks’ annual training camp festival on Saturday. He was a fan’s choice for the starting lineup for the Red team, playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and rugged winger Brandon Saad. He had a nice steal midway through the second period and fed Ryan Hartman for a wide-open look in front, but Jeff Glass got over for a terrific stop.
“I think we want to see him do what he does best,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think that he’s got great instincts offensively and he finds the puck in dangerous areas and comes up with loose pucks because he’s got, the hockey sense of how he handles and uses his stick is high end and around the net he’s got great finish. So I don’t think we want to see him do anything different than how he’s played in junior and how he’s played his whole life.”
What DeBrincat has done his whole life is score — a lot.
DeBrincat, a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, led the OHL with a whopping 65 goals and 127 points in 63 games last season. No other player in the league had more than 48 goals or 109 points.
He also had an OHL-best…