The Blackhawks could not have asked for a better rookie season than they one they got from Alex DeBrincat last season. He led the team in goals and he was second in scoring. At the moment he’s not the only DeBrincat in the organization. His brother Andrew is in camp with the Rockford IceHogs trying to win a roster spot.
Andrew DeBrincat is a lot like his brother Alex in that they’re both small in stature. They’re both 5’7″ tall. The big difference is Alex is a forward and Andrew is a defenseman.
“I always tried to play forward and my coaches never let me play, so I got put on ‘D’ at a really early age. because I was a good at backwards skating,” says Andrew.
Smaller players generally are forwards. Andrew compensates on defense by playing with high energy.
“I just know I have to play with a little more bounce. Play a little bit bigger than I am. I have to get to pucks quick and play a little bit faster so I don’t get crushed.”
Andrew can score. He showed that in the Central Canada Hockey League six years ago when he scored the most points by a defenseman. He still was a point-producer in college at American International in Springfield, Massachusetts, but it was there that he took the defensive aspect of the game more seriously.
“I kind of adapted into more of a balanced role,” he says. “I think my defensive game grew a lot in college and I think it was really good for that.”
As you might expect when Andrew and Alex were growing up in Farmington Hills, Michigan outside of Detroit hockey was a huge part of their lives. “We played with mini-sticks all day. We went out when we came home from school and skated on the pond and then go to practice, come home and skate on the pond.”
There is a four-year age different between Andrew and Alex. Andrew is the older one. He was only mildly surprised by what Alex achieved last season in Chicago. “I knew that he was going to be good. I didn’t know that he was going to put up 28 goals.”
Andrew isn’t worried about the large shadow his little brother casts. Just the opposite. Andrew is glad to be in the same organization with Alex.
“I want to play with Alex so it’s a dream come true for me. The Chicago organization is top-notch, top-tier and I’ve seen what they’ve done with him so really I’m just lucky to be here.”