2016 NHL Draft Profiles: Alex DeBrincat

Alex DeBrincat – 5’7, 165-pound right winger from the Erie Otters (OHL)

Alex DeBrincat Rankings

  • Ranked #24 in Aggregate Draft Rankings
  • Ranked #28 by
  • Ranked #26 by ISS Hockey
  • Ranked #27 by Future Considerations
  • Ranked #21 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Alex DeBrincats Scouting Report provided by Brock Otten of OHL Prospects.

Alex DeBrincat Strengths

  • Truly an offensive sparkplug, Alex DeBrincat is so hard to contain in the offensive end. Blink and he’s behind you, or has positioning over you. He’s so elusive.
  • It’s not often that you see 5’7 guys do the majority of their work 10 feet from the crease and in, but that’s DeBrincat. As alluded to, his skating ability, in particular his ability to stop and start and get a quick burst of acceleration, is fantastic and allows him to be so quick to open lanes or loose pucks. But he’s a battler, too. If he doesn’t beat you to the spot, he’ll fight you for it. And he’s deceptively strong. That low center of gravity really helps him to acquire positioning near the crease.
  • His shot is probably his biggest weapon in the offensive end. Velocity is good, but it’s the release that’s exceptional — on his stick and off it within a flash. With the way the game is played today, there’s most definitely room for a player like DeBrincat (just like Johnny Gaudreau).

Alex DeBrincat Weaknesses

  • There is a slight hesitation that would prevent me from using a Top 20/25 selection on him. Call it a mild seed of doubt. This is something I mentioned as a strength: The fact that he does the majority of his work near the crease. At the OHL level, he’s able to outsmart and out-hustle defenders. At the NHL level, there are 6’4 defenders who can skate as well as he does.
  • Will he be able to have that same sort of success? He might be forced to adapt his game a little bit (like the way a guy like Jeff Skinner has). But, I do most definitely like him as a player and I do believe strongly in his offensive potential at the next level.

The Verdict

If you’re a competitive team picking at the very back of the first round, would you be willing to roll the dice on DeBrincat knowing that his offensive ceiling might be as high as the guy someone else took in the Top 5?

Alex DeBrincat Career Notes

  • Drafted 2013, round 2, #27 overall by Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL Futures Draft.
  • As a member of the Lake Forest Academy Ice Hockey Team, scored 54 goals and registered 111 points in 50 games played as a 16-year-old.
  • Committed to Erie Otters for 2014-15 season after signing as a free agent.
  • Named CHL Rookie of the Year in 2014-15 after 51-goal rookie season.
  • Led 2014-15 OHL rookies in goals (51), assists (53), points (104).
  • Won Emms Family Award for 2014-15 OHL Rookie of the Year.
  • Named to OHL Second All Star Team as a rookie in 2014-15.
  • Named to CHL Top Prospects Game in 2015-16.
  • Won 2016 bronze medal with Team USA at the World Junior Championships (1g, 0a in 5GP).
  • Named to OHL Third All Star Team in 2015-16.

Alex DeBrincat Interview

Courtesy of The Pipeline Show:

On what led him to the OHL:
Once Erie approached me, it was something I couldn’t really turn down. Playing with the elite guys I was able to play with last year and even this year, it’s an amazing group of guys and something I’d never change for anything. Choosing to go to the OHL was something I always wanted to do but I didn’t really tell my parents I wanted to do that, so they always thought I wanted to go college…. I thought about it for a while. In my mind, I always wanted to go, but I still had to talk to my parents to see if it was the right decision for me. Obviously, the goal is to go to the NHL. If, later on in the life if I didn’t end up making it, I didn’t want to have any regrets. I think this was the way I could put all my marbles in one basket. [My parents] kind of looked more into it. Before, they didn’t know much about the OHL and weren’t too fond of it because they like school and, like every parent, want you to go to school. But when they figured out that we can get the best of both worlds, they were with me on going to the OHL.

On whether he was surprised to produce as much offense in the OHL:
Definitely. Going into the league, I just wanted to make the lineup every game. Putting that amount of points up was definitely not in my mind. Like I said, everything has worked out way better than I imagined. Coming here, I was looking to make the lineup and put some points up. But playing with the guys I played with, and playing with the group we had last year, really helped me out.

On proving doubters wrong who suggest he’s a byproduct of Connor McDavid or Dylan Strome:
I think a lot of people still kind of knock me for my size. I think I’m just here to show them that my size doesn’t really matter as much as people may think. I like to play the body and I like to play physical. I think that is kind of part of my game and is kind of what makes me successful.

On the secret to having success at his size:
I think playing and acting like you’re bigger. If you act small, you’re going to get pushed around out there. I think not backing down from anyone is what made me successful. It’s really helped me out.

On the frustration of being in and out of the lineup for Team USA at the World Junior Championships:
It was pretty frustrating. It was an unfortunate bounce in the second game where I got injured, but it’s something that you’re going to have to battle through in your career. No one is going to have a perfect career where nothing bad happens. At a stage like that, if you can battle through that, you can probably battle through anything. I think it’s going to make me stronger in the long run.

On his role on that team:
After getting hurt, when I came back I was the 13th forward. I didn’t get too much playing time, which was fine because our team was doing well. At that stage, there is nothing you can really worry about if your team is doing well. Everyone wants to win and our team was winning, so I was happy. I was just there to support the boys.

On what NHL player he models himself after:
There’s a few guys. Obviously it’s nice to see the smaller guys be successful, like Johnson and Gaudreau and Gallagher. I like to watch those guys and see that they can produce at that level. That’s something I hope to do some day.

On what he needs to improve to get to the next level:
There’s always stuff you can work on. One of things I’ve been working on this season is getting better in the defensive zone. I think sometimes I’m just not as good as I think I can be.

Experts Take on Alex DeBrincat

Russ Bitely,, on The Pipeline Show:
You like the intelligence. He scores those goals simply because he knows where to go on the ice. He reads the play well. Obviously, playing with Strome is an added bonus, and last year with McDavid. But he’s smart. He knows where to go. He’s got that offensive instinct. The downplay on him is he’s 5’7. Is he going to be able to handle the rigours of the pros? What you’d like to see more of — not that he’s a bad skater — but you’d like to see a little more explosiveness just to have that pro-level speed. That isn’t out of the question; he can develop it in the years to come.

Alex DeBrincat Statistics

2013-14Lake Forest AcademyMPHL1316122816|Playoffs34260
Lake Forest AcademyUSHS505457111-|
2014-15Erie OttersOHL6851531047359|Playoffs209716261
2015-16Erie OttersOHL6051501012818|Playoffs1381119135
USA U20WJC-205101251|

Alex DeBrincat Video

Alex DeBrincat Isolation Video