Chicago Blackhawks’ Prospects Update: DeBrincat Continues to Shine

With the recent success of the current wave of Chicago Blackhawks youngsters, many are wondering who will be next

Here’s a roundup of some of the Chicago Blackhawks’ current top prospects.

Alex DeBrincat

Standing in at just 5-foot-7, Blackhawks top prospect Alex DeBrincat has the talent to more than make up for his small frame. DeBrincat, 18, has enjoyed a pair of 100-plus-point seasons with the Erie Otters of the OHL, playing along side Edmonton Oilers phenom Connor McDavid in 2014-15, and without him last season as well.

DeBrincat was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks with the 39th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, and signed his first NHL deal with the Blackhawks earlier this month.

The right wing from Farmington Hills, Mich., is putting up another solid season with the Erie Otters in 2016, scoring 26 goals while notching 25 assists through just 23 games played thus far. DeBrincat has tallied 14 multi-point games this season.

To put that into perspective, if DeBrincat scored at the same rate for the remaining 46 games of the OHL season, he would be on pace to crack the 70-goal plateau. DeBrincat is scoring at a feverish pace to date, but it would be hard to imagine that he could keep up this rate as he gets deeper into the OHL season.

Nonetheless, he will surely wind up with his third consecutive 50-plus goal, 100-plus point season with ease.

DeBrincat has made up for his lack in size thus far with a deadly combination of soft and quick hands, coupled with the keen ability to change gears with ease when he needs to escape a defender to set up a scoring opportunity.

DeBrincat will likely finish up the 2016-17 season with the Erie Otters before making his way into the Blackhawks system sometime in the very near future.

Nathan Noel

The Blackhawks’ fourth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, forward Nathan Noel notched two hat tricks in a three-night span recently with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL.

Noel scored the first hat trick last Wednesday versus the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, totaling three goals for the Sea Dogs en route to a victory.

Two nights later on Friday, Noel again scored three goals as the Sea Dogs defeated the Quebec Remparts 4-2.

Noel also earned an assist in those two games, giving him seven points in his last two games. Noel has scored 13 times and notched 10 assists to give him 23 points through his first 23 games of the 2016-17 season.

John Hayden

John Hayden, 21, the Blackhawks’ third-round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft who is currently playing for Yale University, has seven goals and four assists through his first nine games this season.

Hayden recorded a point in eight of nine games, including a point in each of Yale’s four games last week. Hayden is currently in his senior year at Yale.

Tanner Kero

Tanner Kero, 24, has three goals to go along with seven assists through 19 games played for the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL this season. Kero has four of his 10 points in the last six games after a slow start for the young forward this season.

Dylan Sikura

Dylan Sikura, 21, a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, is currently playing out his junior season with Northeastern University. Sikura has recorded nine goals and 13 assists through the first 14 games this season with Northeastern, good for fourth in the NCAA ranks with 22 points.

Sikura has nine of those 22 points over his last three games, including a hat trick against Minnesota last Friday evening. Sikura also notched an assist during that performance to give him a four-point night.

Robin Press

The Blackhawks’ 21-year-old defenseman prospect of the Swedish Hockey League has decided to leave Sweden to join the Rockford IceHogs. Press saw limited ice time in the SHL this season. It’s unclear whether Press will join the IceHogs on an NHL or AHL contract as of now.

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