Chicago Blackhawks trade Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach on draft night teardown

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The Chicago Blackhawks’ rebuild officially began hours before the start of Thursday’s NHL draft and continued right into the opening moments of the first round.

Chicago’s teardown began in the afternoon with Alex DeBrincat being traded to the Ottawa Senators for the seventh and 39th pick in this year’s draft, and a third-round selection in 2024.

The Blackhawks didn’t stop there, however, as Kirby Dach was then traded to the Montreal Canadiens for the 13th and 66th overall picks.

In a statement, the Blackhawks' first-time general manager Kyle Davidson said in a statement that he feels it is the right way to go about building a contender.

"It was an incredibly difficult decision to trade a player of Alex’s caliber," he said. "We feel as if this move sets the Blackhawks up for future success by giving us additional flexibility and future talent.

"Securing this early of a first-round pick for tonight and an additional second-round selection tomorrow allows us to fortify our prospect base with high-end players who we expect to be difference-makers in the coming years."

DeBrincat was an All-Star for the first time this past season, as he led the team with an equal career-high 41 goals to go with a career-best 37 assists. In five seasons with the Blackhawks, the 24-year-old winger racked up 160 goals and 147 assists in 368 games, but Chicago was in danger of losing the young playmaker, as he’s due to fetch a big payday once his current contract expires after the 2022-23 season.

Dach just finished up his third season with the Blackhawks, registering career highs of nine goals and 17 assists. The 21-year-old centre has 19 goals and 40 assists in 152 career games, but has not yet reached the production Chicago envisioned after selecting him with the third overall pick of the 2019 draft.

The Blackhawks, who haven’t made the playoffs in four of the past five seasons and have won just one playoff series since capturing the 2015 Stanley Cup, also made a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 25th pick by helping the Leafs free up cap space by taking on goaltender Petr Mrazek’s salary.

After beginning the night without a first-round selection as a result of last year’s trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Seth Jones, Chicago ended up with three picks in the first 25.

The Blackhawks took Canadian junior defenseman Kevin Korchinski at pick seven, U.S. development team centre Frank Nazar at 13, and Minnesota high school defensemen Sam Rinzel with the 25th selection.

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