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DeBrincat becomes youngest Blackhawks Player of the Year Award winner

by Austin Siegel /

Alex DeBrincat became the youngest Blackhawks "Player of the Year" Award winner in history on Monday afternoon at the 2018 Keith Magnuson Blackhawk Alumni Scholarship Luncheon.

DeBrincat joined the ranks of Denis Savard, Steve Larmer, Marian Hossa and three-time winner Patrick Kane at the annual event, which was held at the United Center. His 25 goals this season rank seventh in Blackhawks rookie history and he is tied with Patrick Kane for the team lead during the 2017-18 season.

"I spent time looking at the list of scholarship and award winners over the years," DeBrincat said. "I'm humbled to be included with so many great role models and leaders in our community."

Monday's event marked the 100th scholarship awarded by the alumni to deserving high school hockey players and students in Illinois. AJ Salmon (Pekin High School) Patrick Nasta (Prairie Ridge) and Evan Wellman (Sacred Heart-Griffin) received scholarships, bringing the total funds awarded by the alumni to over $1.5 million.

Head Athletic Trainer Mike Gapski earned the Jack Fitzsimmons Award for distinguishing himself in assisting the group's overall efforts over the course of his 31 years with the team. Sam Mencoff received the "Gunzo" Award for his tireless commitment to the alumni association and Central Illinois Sled Hockey President Tim Kirk received the Billy Reay "Coach of the Year" Award.

DeBrincat was honored just one day after becoming the first Blackhawk to record three hat tricks during his rookie season and only the second American-born rookie to accomplish this feat.

"I hope this means you guys have officially forgiven me for spending a few years of my childhood cheering for the Detroit Red Wings," DeBrincat said. "There are a lot guys in our locker room who are deserving of this award, so I'm humbled to be standing here."

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