The Chicago Blackhawks are just two days away from the regular season opener against the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, and there will be some new faces on the team this season. The one that is getting all of the attention is 19-year-old Alex Debrincat, the 39th overall pick of the Blackhawks in the 2016 draft. DeBrincat will be the first Blackhawk since Brandon Saad to make his NHL debut coming out of junior leagues the previous season.

Coach Joel Quenneville liked what he saw from DeBrincat during training camp, and what he did recently in the Traverse City prospect tournament as he led the Blackhawks to the championship.

After seeing what the youngster was able to do in preseason play, Quenneville put him on the opening night roster. He told Chicago Sun-Times' Blackhawks beat reporter Mark Lazerus, "We were trying to see how he would fit in against bigger, stronger, smarter players. He [DeBrincat] continues to find ways to generate offense. He does a lot of good things that we like."

DeBrincat's journey

The Farmington Hills, Michigan native was tearing it up with the Lake Forest Academy ice hockey team. In 2013-2014 playing with Lake Forest in both the USHS and MPHL, DeBrincat scored a combined 50 goals and 55 assists. He then went to play in the OHL with the Lake Erie Otters for two seasons in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

He scored a total of 102 goals and 103 assists in 128 OHL games. It is interesting to note that he scored exactly 51 goals in his first season and 51 again in the second.

He was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2016 in the second round and spent 2016-2017 again in the OHL with the Otters and scored 65 goals and 62 assists. He received the Red Tilson Trophy for his efforts that season.

Now he will begin the 2017-2018 hockey season in a Blackhawks sweater without even playing in the ECHL or AHL first. He may not be very big, 5'7" / 165 lbs, but he can move quickly and snipe, which will add more scoring depth to the roster and another weapon alongside star forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Brandon Saad.

Other Blackhawks roster news

According to the Sun-Times and official Chicago Blackhawks website, the following players have been assigned to AHL Rockford: Vinnie Hinostroza, Ville Pokka, David Kampf, Erik Gustafsson, and Laurent Dauphin. The following players have been placed on waivers: Jordin Tootoo, Tomas Jurco, and J-F Berube. If these players on waivers clear, then they will report to Rockford.

Defenseman Michal Rozsival was placed on long-term injured reserve, with Marian Hossa expected to be placed on the list before the season starts due to a serious skin condition. With these moves, the roster has 13 forwards, eight defenseman and two goalies. Veteran Cody Franson will likely sign to a team deal (currently on tryout deal) once Hossa is officially placed on the LTIR list.