Blackhawks Trade Tree Friday: Alex DeBrincat

During this long offseason for the Blackhawks, we’re taking some time each Friday to look back at how some of the current players arrived on the roster. Looking back at trades and how they pan out is useful as we look ahead to a potentially volatile summer for the Blackhawks; sometimes trades fans hate initially can turn out better than anticipated. And, it can be fun to see how we ultimately got to where we are today.

Last week we kicked the series off with a look at the long, winding road to Connor Murphy arriving in Chicago.

Today, let’s look at all of the moving pieces surrounding the arrival of Alex DeBrincat.

In full disclosure, we probably could/should have called this the Andrew Shaw Trade Tree(s).

In the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks selected forward Andrew Shaw with the 139th overall pick. In his first run with the Hawks, Shaw appeared in 322 games and was an exciting part of two Stanley Cup championship teams. His personality won over fans and his work ethic made him incredibly valuable to the team.

But the salary cap got in the way, and Shaw was on the move.

•   June 24, 2016 — the Blackhawks traded Shaw to the Montreal Canadiens for two second-round picks in the 2016 NHL Draft. With the 39th overall selection, they picked forward Alex DeBrincat. With the 45th overall selection, Chicago picked defenseman Chad Krys.

DeBrincat coming in from the Shaw trade is the payoff fans wanted; it’s the polar opposite of the payoff of the trade that brought Niklas Hjalmarsson to Chicago that we outlined last week. Shaw was loved in Chicago, but DeBrincat has become a star. And now we’re talking about how much money DeBrincat will make when his next contract begins after the coming season… and whether or not that contract will be in Chicago.

Krys never got called up by the Blackhawks and spent four injury-plagued seasons in Rockford. He was ultimately moved this past season, which is where the Andrew Shaw Trade Tree(s) continues.

Tree 1

We’ll stay with the initial trade tree here and add the trade of Krys from this past season.

•   Dec. 9, 2021 — the Blackhawks traded Krys to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Kurtis Gabriel. Gabriel, 29, appeared in two games with the Blackhawks before his demotion. He did, however, become a valuable piece for the IceHogs in their playoff run. Gabriel is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Tree 2

•   June 30, 2019 — the Blackhawks brought Shaw back from Montreal in one of Stan Bowman’s classic “getting the band back together” moves. Chicago sent a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft (No. 48 center Jan Mysek), a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft (No. 203 – subsequently traded by Montreal (Chase Bradley)) and a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft (No. 75 – subsequently traded to Anaheim (Tyson Hinds)) to Montreal for Shaw and a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

•   Oct. 7, 2020 — the Blackhawks traded Montreal their seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft back for the 188th overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, which Chicago used to select defenseman Louis Crevier. As a reminder for those looking at the date and thinking “that seems off that the draft was in October,” the pandemic pushed the 2020 NHL Draft into early October.

We noted Crevier when we broke down the Blackhawks’ organizational depth on the blue line. He’s a massive defenseman (6-8, 214) who is already signed to an entry-level contract, the first contract on new GM Kyle Davidson’s resume.

In Summary

The Andrew Shaw Trade Tree(s) provide a cluttered transaction history with some names that still have careers in front of them. Chicago initially traded a player who was once a fifth-round pick for two second rounders, one of which became a superstar in DeBrincat.

The trades that have followed the initial deal include three trades involving five draft picks and one AHL veteran. But the Blackhawks’ book isn’t closed on the impact of these trades.

written by

Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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