It seems silly to sit here and hand out a bunch of A's, but with the Detroit Red Wings, it's easy to see why Alex DeBrincat brings this team value. Frankly, the Red Wings would have been unlikely to sign Patrick Kane if DeBrincat was not here in Detroit.
On top of that, the Detroit Red Wings would not have gone on a blazing hot run to start the 2023-24 season without DeBrincat being here to score goals left and right. When Steve Yzerman went out and made the blockbuster trade to bring Alex DeBrincat to the Red Wings in the deal with Ottawa, it changed the team's course.
The Red Wings would not be here, fighting for a playoff spot without DeBrincat on the roster in 2023-24. They may have been hovering, but it would not feel like a realistic endeavor without the team's lone NHL All-Star Game representative being here.
That said, "The Cat" is up next in our midseason report cards. As we keep rolling out these here on Octopus Thrower, let's talk through the Red Wings new forward and what he has brought to the table through his first 50 games with his hometown team.
Detroit Red Wings Alex DeBrincat has been as advertised.
DeBrincat is no rookie. He's been around and been a scorer in this league for years. He spent time with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he established his relationship with Patrick Kane. The two were linemates and built great chemistry, scoring goals in Chi-town.
DeBrincat has scored 41 goals twice in his career and only had one season where he did not cross the 20-goal threshold. There are no surprises here with DeBrincat being able to come to Detroit and add in the offense. Through 50 games, he has 18 goals and 25 assists for 43 total points.
There's only one thing I can say really as a "knock" on DeBrincat. He only had one goal in January and has scored just six times since December began. It's different from the scoring tear he was on to start the season, with nine goals through the team's first nine games.
He could stand to tap into that scoring more down the stretch in the remaining 32 games, but that's splitting hairs on a season where DeBrincat has been great. He's brought more life to this Red Wings offense and has been a massive benefit for the team, offensively boosting the scoring production significantly.
This feels like a good spot for DeBrincat. He deserves an A, but the minus being tacked on shows room to keep adding down the stretch. The hot start was great, but then things cooled off a bit. Detroit should be hopeful that the star forward can add more.
As mentioned, DeBrincat has just two seasons where he has not crossed over 20 goals and needs two more to get there in 2023-24. So it seems silly to harp on his offense, but I would like DeBrincat to tally a couple more, at least more often, in the second half.
It will be huge if Detroit can get DeBrincat and Kane firing on all cylinders heading into the second half. Kane's expected to return from injury, and it would be nice to have these two get hot in the second half. Good things could happen if they can get a few good games working alongside one another.
Either way, DeBrincat's been a blessing in 2023-24 for the Red Wings, and I'd expect him to continue this for years to come.