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2019 NHL All-Star Game: Blackhawks’ Alex DeBrincat laughs off his candidacy

Alex DeBrincat thinks he’s still sitting at the kids’ table.

Despite putting up numbers pacing well ahead of his strong rookie season, he laughed heartily at the mention of possibly playing his way into All-Star candidacy.

“I don’t think that’s gonna happen,” he said once he settled down, reacting as though this he’d been asked about NASA selecting him for its next mission. “You try to produce and do the best you can for your team, but there’s a lot of good guys in this league. It would be awesome, but I don’t see myself in contention.”

His numbers disagree. They make a decent case, actually, that he deserves consideration for one of the six forward spots on the Central Division’s team for next month’s game.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 23: (L-R) Jonathan Toews #19, Alex DeBrincat #12 Dylan Stome #17 and Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate DeBrincat's second period goal against the Florida Panthers at the United Center on December 23, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775220846

DeBrincat has 17 goals and 14 assists, putting him 12th in scoring among Central players. Blackhawks teammates Patrick Kane (44 points) and Jonathan Toews (32) are ahead of him. He’s tied with Kane for the team lead in goals; they’re fifth in the Central.

That gives him a shot, but DeBrincat waved off the idea again. He hasn’t gone as far as booking a vacation for that week yet, but he figures to be spending the All-Star break with his family.

“It would be a great honor, but you look at some guys and I don’t think I’m there yet,” he said. “Hopefully at some time in my career. I just think there’s a lot of good guys in this league and a lot of guys who are deserving. I would think there are plenty of guys on the ballot before me.”

The upside is he’s only 21 and should have plenty more chances.

The four All-Star captains, determined by fan ballots, were revealed Thursday. Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon won the vote for the Central. The rest of the rosters — six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies for each division — will be selected by the league office and announced next week.

Regardless of whether DeBrincat’s name makes it on a dry erase board when the NHL sorts through those picks, he’s rolling toward a big year. His six goals and three assists in the last nine games has him on track for 65 points.

“I think I’m playing a lot more consistent this year,” he said. “I went through a dry spell there for a little bit, but I still felt like I was doing some good things in the games and getting some chances, so you take some positives out of that.”