The Chicago Blackhawks may have made an early exit from the playoffs, but the team got some amazing news as one of their top prospects made some incredible history on Friday afternoon.
That prospect is forward Alex DeBrincat, who was named the 2017 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy. The award, given to the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) most outstanding player, was well earned for DeBrincat, as he racked up a staggering 65 goals and 62 assists for the Erie Otters.
While DeBrincat’s eye-popping numbers and comparisons to Patrick Kane have both endeared him to Blackhawks fans before he’s even put on the team’s jersey, the award he won on Friday vaunted him into even more elite company.
According to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, DeBrincat became the first Blackhawks prospect to win the Red Tilson Trophy since Hawks legend Stan Mikita won the trophy in 1959 as a member of the St. Catharine’s Teepees.
A who’s who list of recent winner also should give Blackhawks fans plenty of hope. Star players like Connor McDavid, Tyler Seguin, and John Tavares have all won the award, and legendary players like Eric Lindros, Doug Gilmour, and Glenn Hall have all won the trophy over the years.
As of right now, DeBrincat isn’t guaranteed a spot on the Blackhawks’ roster next season, but with his incredible scoring ability and his absolute dominance in the OHL over the last three years, it would not be shocking at all to see him force his way into the team’s opening night lineup when they begin the 2017-18 season.