To the surprise of many, the Chicago Blackhawks drafted center Kirby Dach No. 3 overall in the 2019 NHL Draft. Dach wasn’t the player fans or even myself wanted. Bowen Byram was still on the board…he actually went a pick later to the Colorado Avalanche.
Byram is going to be a No. 1 defensemen in the NHL…he also could have helped the Hawks in the 2019-20 season. Alex Turcotte was also on the board when the Hawks picked Dach. He was a kid that grew up in Chicago and was compared to Jonathan Toews.
Those who expected Byram would have been fine with Turcotte, but again, general manager Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks had other ideas.
Like most fans, I wasn’t very happy when I found out Dach was the pick. I had done most of my “YouTube scouting” on Byram and Turcotte. To me, drafting one of those two players would have been the correct move. Like every NHL draft though, the Hawks’ front office made a not so obvious choice.
After doing my YouTube scouting and digging more into Kirby Dach, I will explain what he will bring to the Blackhawks and what it means for the current and future team.
What Will Dach Bring?
-Size: Dach is a big, strong kid at 6-foot-4, 197-pounds. That’s kind of the new-style NHL player. One that has the build to win both in the regular season and postseason when the rink gets significantly smaller and skating room is scarce.
-Great Hands: Dach has great hands for a big center. His game offensively is impressive and it’s what he’s known for. His ability to handle the puck in dangerous or congested areas is fun to watch. Again, that’s something that matters most later in games and in the postseason.
— ✶ ✶Tony G✶ ✶ (@Certified_TonyG) June 22, 2019
-Elite Vision + Instincts: While the Hawks typically draft faster, skilled players, Dach is not their usual pick. He lacks top-end speed, but he makes up for it with his ability to make the correct hockey play, which will make him a force on the penalty kill and in other special teams situations. Dach has the unique ability to open up lanes for his teammates when he has the puck.
-Puck Control/Protection: This comes from his great hands and instincts. It’s almost impossible to cleanly take the puck away from Dach, who shields the puck well. Again, this helps in close games and tight games that will happen in the NHL playoffs.
Finishing up my Kirby Dach (#77) tracking, and his puck control never fails to impress me. In one of his gamely dominant sequences, he throws a defender to the ice with one hand then cuts through a group of defenders. #2019NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/EHNQJmMI4C
— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) June 15, 2019
-Offensive Ability: Dach would be a mid-first round pick if he didn’t have the ability to create instant offense. He has a solid wrist shot and has the hockey sense to know when the best time to shoot or pass is.
-NHL Comp: The best comp. for Dach is Ryan Getzlaf. That’s what the Hawks are banking on here. Getzlaf has all the offensive ability Dach does and both have a “power game” that comes out at the right times.
When Will Dach Contribute to the Blackhawks?
Here’s the reason why fans are a bit upset with the selection of Dach. While his game is polished, it’s likely that the 18-year-old won’t help the Hawks much next season. He will compete to make the roster in camp, however.
I would guess Dach would be in the NHL for good in a year or two. He’s not far off, but he’s not ready to be a full-time NHL player. He’s very inconsistent at times and I would imagine the Hawks will want to see some consistency before they have him in Chicago.
Selecting Dach was more about the future than it was about next season.
Kirby Dach pickpocketing Bowen Byram then ripping it home 👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/qbeBqXU5w4
— Lucas (@DontBeSaad20) June 22, 2019
*Insert eyeball emoji.
Nick is the editor-in-chief at TheLoopSports.com & owner of TheChalkTLS.com. He is also a fantasy sports junkie, sports bettor, and Bears/Football fanatic. For more fun, follow him on Twitter @PetroTLS.