With jaw-dropping production for the OHL's Erie Otters, Alex Debrincat is yet another Michigan hockey product that is quickly making a name for himself despite coming in a very small package. Where Debrincat lacks in size, he makes up with offensive ability and instinct that are second-to-none.
Debrincat is projected to be taken later in the first round, so it's unlikely that the Red Wings take him at 16th overall, however, there are possibilities the Red Wings could find themselves in a "trade down" situation, which would make drafting Debrincat a reality.
Name: Alex Debrincat
Born: December 18th, 1997 -- Farmington Hills, Michigan
Weight: 161 lbs.
There's no doubt about it - Alex Debrincat is a pure offensive dynamo with seemingly endless creativity when on the attack. Debrincat, a native of Farmington Hills, just a 30 minute drive from the Joe Louis Arena, absolutely tore the OHL apart in his rookie year, scoring 51 goals. Debrincat followed up his rookie season by scoring just as many in eight less appearances.
The question remains to be why on earth is this kid not a bonafide top prospect in the 2016 NHL Draft? Size. Debrincat is a pint-sized forward with his 5-foot-7, 161-pound build isn't exactly something pro scouts clamor for. The good news for Debrincat is that the NHL has seen a surge of small forwards making an impact for their teams. While it's always preferable to have a player with size and skill, the game is changing. Players like Debrincat are extremely difficult to contain due to their shifty skating and agility. The ability to make quick decisions and provide offensive creativity at a fast pace is something that will almost always find success at any level.
It's important to remember that Debrincat has a lot of developing to do, not only that, he has a lot of growing to do. There's a good chance he gains some weight, gets a bit taller, and fills out frame-wise over the next couple of years. Another season in the OHL, and some time in the AHL will do this compelling spark plug of a player some good. If the production and ability translates to the next level, watch out for Alex Debrincat.
NHL CSS: 21 (NA Skaters)
Future Considerations: 27
Barring a colossal growth spurt, Debrincat will likely fall towards the bottom of the first round.
Any team should be licking their chops at a skilled player like Alex Debrincat. The issue is that with his frame, he wouldn't be considered ideal as a center in the NHL. There's a good chance he might end up getting converted to a winger, but that remains to be seen. As of now, he's listed as a centerman. There's also a lot of speculation about his production being so high because of playing with top prospects like Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome over the past two seasons. While of course that will always help, Debrincat appears to be the "energizing" player on his line, despite who he is playing with.
No doubt he will be available at 16th overall, but I don't think the Red Wings are ready to mortgage that high of a pick on a player who doesn't have all of the necessary criteria. The way I look at Debrincat, if the Red Wings were to possible trade down with a team who has a spare late first-round pick, that could end up being a real nice move seeing that you would ideally get one or two additional later picks.
Potential teams the Red Wings could work a "trade down" transaction: Arizona, Carolina, Toronto, Winnipeg.
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