In the long storied history of the Chicago Blackhawks, there have been a plethora of stars who happened to be American. With the country about to celebrate the 4th of July, what a great time to look back at many of those stars who represented the Stars and Stripes.
This will be a week long feature and we’ll begin with two of the more recent ones: Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat
Kane May Be One of the Greatest Blackhawks of All Time & the Best American Hawk
The numbers are staggering and Kane swaggered in as Chicago’s first #1 overall pick in team history, not happening again until Connor Bedard was taken first on Wednesday. When he was dealt to New York, Kane left as one of the most decorated Blackhawks players in the organization’s history. As an American he stands alone. His 446 career goals are nearly 200 more than the next closest Americans, Tony Amonte (268) and Jeremy Roenick (267).
Assists and points? Second all time as a Blackhawk, he trails only the great Stan Mikita for the team leader in both categories. But it’s not just the stats. Kane provided legions of memories for Blackhawks fans. The heartbreaker goal against Los Angeles in the 2013 Western Conference Final–which just happened to be the third of the game. How about the game winning goal to clinch the Stanley Cup in 2010?
Hell, he scored a hat trick to get Chicago to the Western Conference Final in 2009. Remember, Chicago hadn’t been to the playoffs in over ten years. There was this young American kid just 20 years old, scoring dagger goals against Roberto Luongo. He would go on to torment Vancouver several more times in his career. Kane won three Stanley Cups, the Calder Trophy in 2008, a Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013, and the Ross, Hart, and Pearson in 2016. He’s also a four-time all-star.
Without question, Kane is one of the best, if not the best American player. There will be one other Blackhawk in this series who deserves a hard look as well.
DeBrincat’s Career Was Shorter In Chicago But Still Impressive
The “Cat” as he was known to fans only had five seasons compared to Kane’s 16. But he still found the back of net plenty and was one of the Blackhawks better players as the team faded from contention.
DeBrincat was drafted in the second round but came into his rookie season with a bang, scoring 28 with 52 points. A season later, he would notch 41 goals and 76 points. DeBrincat had 32 goals in just 52 games during the shortened 2021 season. He went onto bury 41 in the 2021-22 campaign.
He was dealt to Ottawa last season for three draft picks, which included the seventh overall selection. In his five seasons in Chicago, DeBrincat had 160 goals and 307 points. To put this into perspective, Kane had 126 goals in his first five seasons and 369 points. Imagine if 2021 was a full 82 games season–DeBrincat was on pace for 50 goals.
While he didn’t walk away with the accolades, DeBrincat’s marks are still very impressive. Sure, the league was trending more toward offense, but no one expected the 2016 39th overall pick to produce like he did. DeBrincat enjoyed two 41- goal seasons and likely has another one if the 2021 season was normal.
DeBrincat’s time in the Windy City was shorter. But his numbers certainly hold him as one of the better American players the team has rostered.