Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters is the smallest player in Vancouver this week at the 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Although the native of Farmington Hills, Michigan checks in at 5’7” and 163 pounds, his performance in the OHL this season has been big time so far.
He is assuredly on pace to eclipse his mark of 104 points last year, when he collected both the OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year awards. Through 38 games this season, he has scored 38 goals and added 27 assists. He scores in bunches, with three five-point outings to his credit this season. He has already notched four hat tricks. For his efforts in October alone, when he collected 23 points in 12 games, he was named the OHL Player of the Month.
It has been a busy 2015-16 season for DeBrincat, one that has included travel around the globe. Early on, he played USA Hockey’s All-American Top Prospects Game in Buffalo. Then a couple of months later, USA Hockey came calling again, this time with an invitation to represent his country at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland, where he earned a bronze medal. And now he’s in Vancouver following a cross-country flight. One might wonder if the young forward has a burgeoning air miles account.
DeBrincat took over in Erie this season from Connor McDavid in conjunction with a local charity involving the Otters. It’s called “Cat’s Kids” and a local business has committed to making a donation to the local children’s hospital for every point DeBrincat scores.
Most frequently, DeBrincat finds himself answering questions referencing his size, but the diminutive forward is anything but soft. He describes himself as a gritty, hard-working player with quick wits and good speed. A product of the Detroit Victory Minor Hockey program, DeBrincat admits to being a little on the superstitious side. When he is not dazzling hockey fans on the ice, he enjoys roller hockey, which he says he has played for many years.
He was acquired by the Otters as a free agent and is currently ranked 20th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. CSS describes DeBrincat as a player with “elite hockey sense and finishing ability which can’t be taught. He shows excellent movement away from the puck and an awareness of where to go to score goals. He’s tenacious on pucks and isn’t afraid to play in traffic despite his size.”
DeBrincat spoke with Hockey’s Future prior to the 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver, BC, with his comments being captured in this HF podcast.
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