Much of the recent speculation surrounding Alex DeBrincat and the Ottawa Senators largely centered around the New York Islanders and Anaheim Ducks as being the most likely suitors in any trade. At the beginning of the offseason, once news broke that DeBrincat may find his way out of Ottawa, the Detroit Red Wings were deemed the likeliest landing spot, but seemed to have fallen out of the running.
In a surprising turn of events, the Red Wings eventually came out on top, trading Dominik Kubalik, Donovan Sebrango, a conditional first-round pick in 2024, and a fourth-round pick in 2024. Furthermore, Detroit also announced a four-year, $31.5MM contract with DeBrincat, paying him an AAV of $7.785MM. The Farmington Hills, MI native is now officially a part of his childhood team.
By acquiring DeBrincat, Detroit immediately addresses one of the major problems that has plagued them the last several seasons, their offense. Two seasons ago, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks at the time, DeBrincat scored 41 goals and 37 assists in 82 games. This past season with the Senators, DeBrincat scored 27 goals and 39 assists in 82 games. Interestingly enough, DeBrincat has also been extremely good all-time against his new team, scoring 11 goals and 30 points in 23 games against the Red Wings in his career.
In context to the condition attached to the first-round pick headed to the Senators, Detroit will have the option to send either their own 2024 first-round selection or the Bruins’ 2024 first-round selection. On Boston’s draft pick, if the pick falls within the top ten of the 2024 draft, the pick will convey to the Bruins’ 2025 first-round selection. At that time, the Red Wings will have the option of sending their own 2024 first-round selection, or the 2025 first-round selection originally owned by Boston.
The contract for DeBrincat will place him second among Red Wings’ earners, sitting behind the eight-year, $69.6MM extension the team handed out to captain Dylan Larkin last season. Given that the 2023-24 season would have been DeBrincat’s last as a restricted free agent, the contract also buys out three years of unrestricted free agency, putting DeBrincat at 29 years for the first time he hits the open market.
From Ottawa’s standpoint, it is hard to imagine this as a positive return. Kubalik has shown offensive skill in the past but struggled mightily down the stretch for the Red Wings last season. In 81 games played for Detroit last year, Kubalik scored 20 goals and 25 assists in 80 games, something that should play well in the Senators’ middle-six forward group. The other player in the deal, Sebrango, was a former 63rd overall pick of the Red Wings back in the 2020 NHL Draft, and split time between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toledo Walleye last year.
Unfortunately for Ottawa, they were unable to recoup the draft capital they once spent to acquire DeBrincat in the first place. At last year’s draft, the Senators sent their first-round pick, second-round pick, and a third-round selection in 2024 to acquire DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks. That first-round selection would be seventh overall, allowing the Blackhawks to select defenseman Kevin Korchinski. Given the condition of the first-round pick going to Ottawa in this deal, it is unlikely that it will get even close to seventh overall in whichever year the condition is met.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period was the first to report the contract details between the Red Wings and DeBrincat.
PuckPedia was the first to report the conditions of the first-round pick going to the Senators in the deal.