There had been a ton of speculation that the Chicago Blackhawks were going to trade away rising star Alex DeBrincat over the last few months. On Thursday, just hours before the NHL Draft, they finally dealt him. Chicago sent DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators. In return, the Blackhawks acquired the 7th overall pick in Thursday’s draft, along with a 2nd round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft (39th overall), as well as a 3rd round pick in the 2024 draft.

This is the biggest sign yet that Chicago is staring a full rebuild in the face. Meanwhile, the Senators appear to be moving in the opposite direction by landing the star forward.

So, let’s take a deeper look at both sides and grade the Blackhawks Senators trade for Alex DeBrincat.

Grading the Blackhawks-Senators Alex DeBrincat Trade


It’s hard to imagine that Chicago was not able to get more than what they landed from Ottawa for DeBrincat. The 24-year-old winger had shown throughout his five-year career in the NHL that he is among the best goal scorers in the league. He was coming off of a career year, scoring 41 goals and 37 assists for 78 points. It was the second time he scored 41 goals, as he accomplished that feat in his second season back in 2018-2019.

The talented right winger has 307 career points in 368 games played. That is a fantastic start to a career. To put what he has done since entering the NHL into perspective, listen to this. The only players with more goals than DeBrincat since he entered the league at 18 years old, only Alex Ovechkin, Auston Matthews, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Kyle Connor and Nathan MacKinnon have scored more goals.

Alex DeBrincat still has one year left on his current deal, which sweetened the pot for potential suitors. Yet, the Blackhawks only landed one 1st round pick, to go with two later picks. That doesn’t seem to add up and Blackhawks fans are likely feeling very underwhelmed or pissed off Thursday.

Grade: C-

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The Senators are obviously a much better team Thursday after acquiring DeBrincat. But that by no means makes this trade a home run. Generally, when a team makes a move for a young superstar, the goal is to contend. But that is not only unlikely right now, it’s a near impossibility.

The Eastern Conference’s eighth place team, the Washington Capitals, finished with 100 points last season. It was the first time in NHL history that all eight playoff teams had 100 points or more. In other words, the Eastern Conference is arguably the deepest it has ever been. Even with DeBrincat in the fold, it’s not likely to move the needle enough for them to be contenders.

That’s not the only question mark surrounding Ottawa’s side of this deal. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the Senators and DeBrincat have not even discussed an extension. He has one year remaining on his current contract, which is a $6.4 million cap hit.

This will likely provide the winger a ton of leverage when negotiations start. In other words, Ottawa will have to pay almost whatever DeBrincat wants. They obviously cannot afford to let him walk after the 2022-2023 season.

It’s safe to say there are some concerns. However, they still won this trade solely because of what they had to give up. A 1st, 2nd and 3rd round draft pick is not much for a player the caliber of DeBrincat. Assuming they lock him up long-term, they win this deal.

Grade: B