Position: Right wing
Junior team: Erie (OHL)
Born: Farmington Hills, Mich.
Measurables: 5-foot-7, 163 pounds
2015-16 stats: 60 games, 51 goals, 50 assists, 101 points
Central Scouting rank: No. 21 (North America)
Lowdown: Two facts are indisputable. DeBrincat knows how to score, and he’s short. After that, nearly everything else is a matter of opinion.
The lightning-quick winger recorded 102 goals during the past two seasons, scoring 51 in each. Clearly, he knows how to find the net. He has smarts and guts to get into the scoring areas. He performed well in the playoffs, too, scoring eight times in 13 games this spring. Detractors will say he’s been the beneficiary of world-class linemates, skating alongside Connor McDavid in 2014-15 and Dylan Strome this season.
If DeBrincat stood 6-foot tall, he’d be in the mix for a top-five pick. Instead, the 5-foot-7 winger has the potential to fall out of the first round. It takes special talent to overcome such a height deficiency (Brian Gionta, Nathan Gerbe). There’s no doubt DeBrincat has what it takes to play at the junior level. There are doubts about the professional ranks. He’s dealt with the doubts during every step of his career, yet he keeps scoring.
They said it: “DeBrincat will be one of the more intriguing prospects scouted this year. He has an obvious and unique skill set, which combines well with his tenacity to score. While his size is not an asset, it's not affected him from being able to consistently generate offense for his team. Much like Brian and Stephen Gionta and Johnny Gaudreau, he has the potential to be one of those special players that finds his way to the NHL.” – Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting, to NHL.com.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 24-25 in First Niagara Center.