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Alex DeBrincat Traded to Senators from Blackhawks for No. 7, More NHL Draft Picks

Adam WellsJuly 7, 2022

Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Ahead of the 2022 NHL draft on Thursday night, the Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators shook things up in the top 10.

The Senators announced they have acquired forward Alex DeBrincat from the Blackhawks in exchange for three draft selections, including picks No. 7 and 39 in the 2022 draft.

Ottawa Senators @Senators

Welcome to the Nation's Capital, Alex!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sens?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sens</a> acquire forward Alex DeBrincat from <a href="https://twitter.com/NHLBlackhawks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NHLBlackhawks</a> in exchange for three draft picks: <a href="https://t.co/tUT4yjGaj4">https://t.co/tUT4yjGaj4</a> <a href="https://t.co/oeJrFNHeis">pic.twitter.com/oeJrFNHeis</a>

The Blackhawks tried to toe the line between being a playoff contender and rebuilding their roster going into the 2021-22 season. Things didn't go well, as they finished seventh in the Central Division with 68 points and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five years.

It was going to be difficult for Chicago general manager Kyle Davidson to go all-in on a rebuild without making a drastic move. The team didn't have any major contracts come off their books prior to the start of free agency to clear significant cap space.

Patrick Kane told reporters in April he was hopeful for a quick turnaround going into 2022-23.

"You can win and still be in a rebuild," Kane said. "I think there are teams that have accelerated that too, right? You look at L.A., they had some young guys that probably came in and maybe exceeded some of maybe their front-office expectations and all of a sudden, they're in a spot where they can sign guys like [forward Phillip] Danault and trade for [forward Viktor] Arvidsson, and they're a better team."

Rather than add more money to the payroll with the hopes of getting back to contention, though, it seems Davidson and his staff are emphasizing a long-term approach this offseason.

DeBrincat is an odd player for a rebuilding franchise to trade. He's only 24 years old, just set a career-high with 78 points last season and is under contract for $6.4 million next season before hitting restricted free agency.

James Neveau @JamesNeveau

If you're underwhelmed by the return on the first major move of the Blackhawks' rebuild.....you are correct. If that's the market rate for DeBrincat, then you're better off just holding onto him.

Trading DeBrincat does move the Blackhawks back into the first round of Thursday's draft. They dealt their top pick in the 2022 draft last year in a package to acquire Seth Jones from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Jones was given an eight-year, $76 million extension by Chicago after the trade. The pick traded by the Blackhawks wound up being at No. 6 overall. They will be able to get a high-end prospect with the pick they are receiving from the Senators.

Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion told reporters prior to the start of the 2021-22 season that his team's rebuild "is done" and they were "stepping into another zone."

Instead, the Senators limped their way to a 33-42-7 record and seventh-place finish in the Atlantic Division. They finished in the bottom 10 in the NHL in goals scored (227) and goals allowed (266).

Adding a young, talented player like DeBrincat to the mix should greatly improve Ottawa's scoring output as the franchise looks to end its six-year playoff drought.

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