Date of Birth: December 18, 1997
Place of Birth: Farmington Hills, Michigan
Ht: 5'-7" Wt: 165 lbs
Position: Right Wing
Team (League): Erie Otters (OHL)
What Scouts See
DeBrincat finds the soft spots in the offensive zone to get the pass before shooting to score. Will need to improve his defensive play, but his ability to get into the gritty areas, never backing down and playing bigger than he is will be what will help him succeed at the next level.
DeBrincat is a small player with a dynamic skill set. He is a pure sniper, scoring over 50 goals in two straight years in the OHL. He is very undersized, but can be very nasty to play against and shies away from no one. He skates well and is very effective around the net. He is hard to contain for such a small player, and has great chemistry with anyone he plays with. A decade player in the OHL.
What BSN Avalanche sees
Just like the scouts said, DeBrincat's speed and tenacity come through in even a short viewing of his game. He drives the net and reads the play very well, whether it's shifting from offense to forecheck or anticipating where his linemate needs him during a rush. His hands are pretty good as well, as is his ability to find teammates with passes.
Definitely some defensive questions - he doesn't have the same positional instincts on that side of the ice - but the same can be said for most 18-year-olds. The other downside is his size. When coming through the neutral zone, he repeatedly gets knocked off the puck by the bigger defensemen. Unless he adds more strength to his frame, this problem will only get worse at the next level.
This is a tough question for DeBrincat. If he was about 3-4 inches taller, he'd likely be a lock for a top six winger position and a top five pick in the draft. His offensive numbers are great, his shot is great, his tenacity is great, and his elusiveness is off the charts. Unfortunately, for every Marty St. Louis, there are dozens of smaller players who never make the show because they're too easy to push around. There's no question DeBrincat has the skill to be an impact player in the NHL, but it's going to be an uphill battle to get to that level.
Expected Draft Position
At some point, a team is going to see enough raw talent to overlook his size. Most ranking services believe that will come sometime in the late first or early second round.
How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
DeBrincat's talent is enticing, but in the rough and tumble West, he'd be at even more of a disadvantage. Even so, his pure tenacity may make up for that. There's zero question that a weak forward system like the Avs could use the infusion of a sniper, but it'd be an interesting pick that contradicts a lot of the draft tendencies we've seen under Sakic and Roy.