I'm not downplaying them. I like PJ and Bourgault. But they aren't worth that much in trade at this point in their careers. I see people using Fiala in comparison going forward, so I will say this right now. MIN had zero leverage in the Fiala trade and were forced to give him up, Fiala is a defensive liability, and he has not shown anywhere near as much consistency as Cat. CHI has zero reason to sell cat unless the return is a game changer, because Cat himself is a game changer. CHI has all the leverage and zero need to sell him. All first round picks are absolutely not created equal.
"first rounders are first rounders"...LMAO that's rich! The 2022 Edmonton first rounder is garbage...nothing but a dice roll on the craps table. The 2024 is going to be another late one. You simply don't get an elite player for 2 late firsts, a middle 6 winger and good (not great) prospect. Rumor is, Devils and Hawks meeting about the #2OA and Holtz which kills this offer all day long. Ottawa also beats this offer with Pinto and (2) firsts. Cat is an elite 24 year old proven NHL player who's stock continues to rise each year in the league. He's an RFA in another year with a QO of $9M which easily is justified. Rarely do players like him become available. Fiala, who didn't even have a contract and is clearly not as good as Cat in all areas on the ice, pulled in quite a bit for no contract in place...start there.
"You simply don't get an elite player for two late firsts, a middle 6 winger and a good (not great prospect)."
Yeah, something tells me there's something wrong with that sentence, what with elite players certainly moving for lesser packages than this, starting from Toews, Reinhart, Fiala and even Eichel to an extent (yes I think Eichel return was better than this one but not by too much). Granted some differing circumstances definitely played a part here and there.
First round picks are not equal, that's true, but they still hold a high perceived value due to the unknown factor. Yes the 2022 first isn't as valuable because we know it's a 29th overall pick but we can't say the same for certain for the 2024 one.
I'd argue that 29th overall pick + Bourgault is about the same in value as Faber + 19th overall is. So basically we have Pulju + 2024 1st added to that return, which is in my opinion quite a lot.
If teams like NJ or OTT is handing out those offers for DeBrincat, yeah I think I agree that it will top the value in this, but that's a BIG if. Personally I don't see them doing it at all, doesn't scream to me like Fitzgerald or Dorion types of moves.
My argument is that since such a package has not been traded for a player in past 10 years, probably more than that, imo it's almost asinine to think that a RFA that is two years away from free agency would be worth MASSIVELY more than any trade in the past. For all we know Debrincat could go and pull a Dubois in 2023, and only agree to a one year deal, which is likely the specific reason why CHI is listening offers for the guy as they don't want to compromise on value by rebuilding and not offering him a position to produce at his earlier and/or potentially risk losing the leverage over him.
Can Debrincat reach an offer like Holtz+2nd overall? Maybe, but it's a risk I definitely wouldn't be willing to take nor suggest as it would become one of the highest paid prices for a player with no certain term in years.