It was announced today that Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat and defenceman Adam Boqvist were added to the team’s COVID protocol. They will miss the team’s back-to-back against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
Chicago Blackhawks Add Alex DeBrincat and Adam Boqvist to COVID Protocol
Adam Boqvist (CHI) and Alex DeBrincat (CHI) have been added to the NHL's COVID Protocol list today.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 25, 2021
Neither player is confirmed to have tested positive at this moment. Considering both players are fairly close off the ice, this could be the team’s contact tracing effort that put both of them on the list together. Through six games DeBrincat has notched six points, two goals and four assists. For the defenceman, Boqvist, he has been playing minutes in the top pairing with veteran teammate Duncan Keith. Also playing six games this season, Boqvist has grabbed three assists for himself.
DeBrincat was drafted by the team 39th overall in 2016. He made his debut for the NHL club in 2017 where he had a breakout rookie season. He went on to score 28 goals and 24 assists for 52 points. In his three full seasons with the team, he has accumulated 89 goals and 90 assists for 179 career points. Boqvist was drafted as the eighth pick in the 2018 draft. So far in his career, he has scored four goals and 12 assists through 47 games at the NHL level. He has been a large piece for the team’s defensive rebuild, getting significant minutes among the top four defence group.
What This Means for the Team
The two’s teammates have travelled to Nashville for their two-game series against the predators. They will be replaced pretty easily, however, presence will be missed. Alex DeBrincat, for example, has been on a point-per-game-pace, and any offensive help will surely be appreciated against Nashville. He seems to have regained confidence in his shot compared to last season, and not a lot of players on the taxi squad, or otherwise, can compare to his shot skill. Forward Brandon Pirri will likely fill in DeBrincat in these two games.
On the blue line, there are two options for the team to replace Boqvist’s spot in the lineup. First is University of Wisconsin product Wyatt Kalynuk. The left-shot defenceman is poised to make his NHL debut after a decent collegiate career. Last season with the Badgers he put up seven goals and 21 assists in 36 games in the Big Ten conference. On the other hand, there is defence prospect Nicolas Beaudin. Last season he made his debut right before the league pause. He had shown promise in the minors last season and the season prior, playing juniors in the QMJH for Drummondville. The professional experience might be favoured, potentially giving him a leg up on Kalynuk.