New York Islanders Roundtable: 2019 NHL Playoffs Draft
Matt Hawkins – Alex DeBrincat
If I was able to draft a player from a non-playoff team, I would look for a player that can score goals – at even strength and on the powerplay. The Islanders need help in these areas, and this would help us get deeper into the playoffs.
However, because of the salary cap, I cannot just pick a forward like Connor McDavid or Patrick Kane because of their tremendous cap hits. Therefore, I had to select a player that has proven that he can score at least 25 goals a season and plays at a good value.
After much consideration, I decided to go with Alex DeBrincat. At just 21 years old, the Chicago Blackhawks winger is still on his entry-level deal which is only worth $792,500 with a cap hit of $778,333, per hockey-reference.com.
Although this is only DeBrincat’s second season in the NHL, he has proved to be a lethal goal-scorer. Last year, DeBrincat scored 28 goals in his rookie season. Additionally, DeBrincat suited up for all 82 games.
To follow up his impressive rookie campaign, DeBrincat scored 41 goals this season, again playing in every game. Additionally, out of these 41 goals, 13 of them came on the powerplay – this is just what the hideous powerplay of the Isles needs.
Last year, DeBrincat finished the season as a plus-six playing on a team that struggled defensively. This season, the Blackhawks finished the season giving up the most goals in the Western Conference and DeBrincat surprisingly finished this season with a neutral (0) +/- despite the team’s defensive problems.
DeBrincat’s +/- shows that the young star can play defense and would fit well into Barry Trotz’ system. As a result of the defensive-minded system, DeBrincat’s goal total would most likely decrease, however, I would still expect him to be able to score at least 25 goals.