It’s not every day one of the league’s brightest young stars becomes available on the trade market, but that is exactly what seems to be brewing with Chicago Blackhawk’s 24-year-old forward Alex DeBrincat.
It’s only been a matter of time before the Blackhawks waived the white flag on their Stanley Cup era, and that time my finally be here. Rumor has it they’re ready to listen to offers on practically everybody on the roster, and possibly their most enticing name is 24-year-old Alex DeBrincat, who has one year left on his current contract at $6.4 million. He becomes a restricted-free agent in the 2023 offseason.
The two-time 40-goal scorer was a second round pick in 2016, famously passed over by the Flyers in favor of Pascal Laberge. DeBrincat has posted 160 goals and 307 points in 368 games. Laberge has spent a bulk of his professional career in the ECHL.
Given a trade for DeBrincat can happen before the 2022 entry draft in early July, the Flyers’ fifth overall selection may be in play. It sounds like other teams who may be in the hunt for DeBrincat’s services, mainly the New Jersey Devils, are dangling their second-overall pick in a potential deal for DeBrincat, meaning if the Flyers want to stand a real chance in acquiring the 2022 All-Star, the fifth overall may have to be the first stepping stone.
There’s a good chance the Flyers would have to give up their first rounder in 2023 as well. It’s the one that a potential lottery team like the Flyers wouldn’t want to part with, but it’s also the thing that could secure this trade in the Flyers’ favor.
As far as prospects go, the biggest weak spot in the Hawks’ system is in net. The Flyers could part ways with 23-year-old Samuel Ersson, whose first North American season was derailed by injuries. Considering the Flyers secured Russian giant Ivan Fedotov, the spotlight could quickly move away from Ersson, meaning he may be best served as a trade chip. He’s got two years left on his entry-level deal.
Two first round picks, one fifth overall and one in the deepest draft in years, plus a top goaltending prospect is already a steep price, but that may not even cover it. They may have to tack on another prospect as well. Whether that be star junior forward Elliot Desnoyers, who will make him professional debut during the 2022-23 season, or someone a little more NHL-ready like defenseman Egor Zamula, who took big strides during the 2021-22 campaign, the Flyers are at the mercy of whatever the Blackhawks would want as a return.
Acquiring DeBrincat won’t be cheap or painless. Though, a 24-year-old two-time 40-goal scorer doesn’t exactly hit the market every day. It’s one of the few times a young superstar, who probably isn’t even at his peak yet, could be available via trade. From the Blackhawks’ perspective, if you’re giving up someone the caliber of DeBrincat, you better make sure you get a foundation of picks and prospects to build the next incarnation of your team around. That is exactly what the Flyers are offering in this scenario.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com