Blackhawks’ Market for DeBrincat Heating Up with 4 Teams Interested

As soon as the Chicago Blackhawks made Kyle Davidson their permanent general manager (GM), the 33-year-old announced that the team would begin rebuilding. Since then, the Blackhawks have traded players like Brandon Hagel, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Ryan Carpenter. Yet, more changes are expected to come this summer, and Alex DeBrincat is one star dominating the rumor mill.

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Although the offseason is just getting started, DeBrincat is already getting attention from around the league. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period has reported that four teams are expressing interest in the star forward at this time. Let’s take a dive into each of them now.

Los Angeles Kings

It isn’t too surprising to hear that the Los Angeles Kings are expressing interest in DeBrincat, as they moved past their rebuilding stage during the 2021-22 season and made the playoffs. Yet, to keep this momentum going, it would be wise for them to add another scoring winger to their lineup. DeBrincat provides them with just that and would be a perfect addition to their top line.

Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks
Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Blackhawks certainly should consider doing business with the Kings, as they have one of the strongest prospect pools in the entire league. Thus, Chicago would have a plethora of different options to choose from. It’s hard to believe that they would be willing to part ways with Quinton Byfield, but other prospects like Alex Turcotte and Tobias Bjornfot could be made available in this kind of move. With that, they also have young NHL-caliber players like Arthur Kaliyev, Rasmus Kupari, and Gabriel Vilardi who could help complete a DeBrincat blockbuster. Of course, a first-round pick would need to be added to any deal, too.

The Kings need another star in their lineup to help them take that next step as contenders. Thankfully, after years of rebuilding, they have a surplus of prospects and young players who they can get rid of if it means adding DeBrincat. With all of this, they are in a position where they can make a big splash with relative ease.

New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils have already been making a lot of noise in the rumor mill this offseason, as it’s been reported that they are willing to trade their second-overall pick if the right offer comes along. With that, they have expressed interest in multiple stars like Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Fiala, and J.T. Miller. Thus, hearing that they have DeBrincat on their radar is entirely understandable.

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Much like the Kings, the Devils do have assets that the Blackhawks could find very intriguing. The second-overall pick of course stands out, but it would likely take more than just that to acquire DeBrincat. In terms of potential prospects they could move, players like Shakir Mukamadulin, Arseni Gritstyuk, and Nolan Foote would make sense. Furthermore, the Blackhawks would likely want at least one young NHL-ready player. Yegor Sharangovich and Pavel Zacha are potential options on that front.

With the Devils looking to get back into the playoffs, they could be the team willing to give up a little extra to the Blackhawks in a trade centering around DeBrincat. This will be something we should all keep a close eye on this summer.

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders took a massive step back during the 2021-22 season. After making the Eastern Conference Final in back-to-back years, they disappointingly and shockingly missed the postseason. Serious scoring troubles were a major reason behind this, so it’s an area that GM Lou Lamoriello will need to address this offseason. It’s hard to find a better player on the trading block than DeBrincat to fix it, so it is easy to see why they are pursuing him.

The Islanders do not have the deepest prospect pool, however, so it will be harder for them to acquire DeBrincat. Aatu Raty would be the big prospect that the Blackhawks would expect back in any trade involving him. Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows are young players who also could benefit Chicago’s rebuild. Yet, the Islanders would of course need to add a first-round pick and more to help finalize this massive of a move.

Oliver Wahlstrom New York Islanders
Oliver Wahlstrom, New York Islanders (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

At the end of the day, acquiring DeBrincat would be extremely beneficial for the Islanders. They desperately need to get Mathew Barzal an elite sniper to play with. If they got DeBrincat, it could be exactly what helps them get back into the postseason next year.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers were one of the worst teams in the NHL last season. However, it appears that they aren’t ready to embark on a rebuild just yet, as Pagnotta has them as another team interested in DeBrincat. His restricted free agent status is likely a big reason behind this, as they of course would still have control over his rights once his contract expires. If they are hoping to be better in 2023, maybe he could be the kind of player who helps get them back on track.

The Flyers have some notable prospects who could intrigue the Blackhawks, too. Cam York, Bobby Brink, and Yegor Zamula are just a few of them who could be excellent additions to Chicago’s roster. Other young players who could make sense in this kind of move include Morgan Frost and Owen Tippett. Essentially, the Blackhawks have several acceptable options from the Flyers. However, Philadelphia would also have to be okay parting ways with a first-round pick to land him.

Although the Flyers potentially have the assets to acquire a player like DeBrincat, it’s hard to say whether or not it’s the right time. In my opinion, they should develop the prospects that they have to try to get things back on track. Yet, even with this being so, they do have an interest in the Michigan native. Let’s see if they end up being the winners of the sweepstakes.

Nevertheless, it will be intriguing to see if any of these clubs acquire DeBrincat this offseason. The Kings and Devils have the assets to be viewed as potential frontrunners, but a lot can change over the summer. As we get closer to free agency, do not be surprised to hear more teams call about the Blackhawks’ star.

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