After lacking the playoffs for 2 seasons in a row, Blackhawks followers had been delighted to have the third-overall choose on the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Jonathan Toews was the final participant the Blackhawks picked third total, so expectations had been excessive. Specialists and followers predicted that the Blackhawks would choose Bowen Byram or Alex Turcotte, however they picked Kirby Dach of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. Dach guarantees to be a robust participant for the Blackhawks, however there are nonetheless questions that have to be answered.
Listed here are three execs and two cons concerning the Blackhawks drafting Dach.
Professional: Observe Document
Although it took a while for Dach to ascertain himself as a dependable middle on the Blades, he exceeded expectations within the 2018-19 season with a complete of 25 targets and 48 assists in 62 video games. He additionally added 5 targets and three assists in 10 playoff video games.
Kirby Dach, Chicago Blackhawks, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers
Blackhawks scouts preferred what they noticed from him, as Blackhawks common supervisor Stan Bowman instructed the Chicago Tribune,
“Whenever you take a look at the sport that Kirby brings to Chicago, he’s obtained somewhat little bit of every little thing,” Bowman stated. “He’s obtained the talent to play with the high-skill gamers. He could make performs that may wow you. He’s additionally obtained the competitiveness to indicate that he desires it greater than anybody else. I feel we’ve obtained a particular participant right here, and as you’ll see, we’re excited for what’s to come back,”from ‘From Edmonton to Saskatoon to Chicago, Blackhawks high choose Kirby Dach by no means stopped desirous about hockey,’ Chicago Tribune– 6/24/19.
Con: Excessive Danger
Draft busts are far more frequent than profitable draft picks. This doesn’t simply go for the first-overall choose as a result of third-overall picks are sometimes busts. Earlier than coming to the Blackhawks final season, Dylan Strome was thought-about a third-overall bust on account of his lack of success with the Arizona Coyotes. Not like Strome, not everybody will get an opportunity to redeem themselves.
The Blackhawks have a robust historical past of taking dependable gamers with the third choose, however there have been a few busts, like Cam Barker in 2004. On paper, there isn’t a lot threat with Dach. He has the talents to develop into a stable middle, however not all expertise translate from the WHL. The scouting employees appears to have plenty of religion in Dach, so his transition to the NHL ought to be a profitable one.
Professional: Attainable Fast Begin
Many NHL prospects nonetheless have contracts with their junior league groups or have dedicated to play faculty hockey for a minimum of a 12 months or two. Dach has no commitments or contracts lined up. It’s uncommon, even for high-level prospects to begin taking part in within the NHL instantly, nevertheless it’s a risk for Dach.
Kirby Dach of the Saskatoon Blades. (Steve Hiscock/Saskatoon Blades)
Regardless of the hype over a doable fast begin, Bowman assured the media that it’s okay of Dach takes his time:
“A part of our job is to challenge when Kirby has established himself within the league, what we predict he’s going to be. We see him as a centerman who’s going to be the man that may do some little bit of every little thing. Should you’re going to be an elite participant on this recreation, you may’t simply be an offensive participant. It’s a must to be the man that the coach desires to make use of once you’re forward by a purpose, and it’s worthwhile to win a faceoff and shield the lead,”from ‘Blackhawks hope Dach can remodel ahead group, not simply plug gap,’ Chicago Solar-Instances– 6/24/19.
Hope shouldn’t be misplaced if Dach doesn’t make the roster proper out of coaching camp in September. The scouts see potential in him, and it would take a season for him to actually reside as much as that potential and be at his finest for the group. Even when Dach doesn’t swimsuit up in October, he shall be sporting a Blackhawks sweater sooner somewhat than later.
Con: Future Cap House
With star gamers with eight-figure salaries like Toews and Patrick Kane, the wage cap is hard to navigate. If Dach lives as much as expectations, he ought to obtain the next wage when his entry-level contract expires.
Chicago Blackhawks have a good time (AP Photograph/LM Otero)
Gamers like Strome and Alex DeBrincat are projected to cut back the crew’s cap area when their contracts expire on the finish of the 2019-20 season. DeBrincat’s contract has a cap hit of $778,333. Dialogue of re-signing him in the course of the offseason is within the works, since he’s going to be costly. Then again, Strome’s contract has a cap hit of $863,333. He’s probably due for a seven-figure wage in his subsequent contract, however the deal ought to be smaller than DeBrincat’s. If each gamers reside as much as their requirements subsequent season, it will be far more tough to present Dach the wage he’ll probably be value sooner or later.
Professional: Bigger Stature
In recent times, gamers who’re smaller in stature however have velocity (like DeBrincat) have had plenty of success. Nonetheless, it’s essential to have bigger gamers to assist steadiness out the roster. At 6-foot-Four and 198 kilos, Dach ought to bulk as much as additional broaden his bodily presence on the ice.
Kirby Dach, Chicago Blackhawks, 2019 NHL Draft. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers
Dach doesn’t let his dimension get in the way in which of his velocity, as Blackhawks’ vice chairman of scouting, Mark Kelley instructed NHL.com: “He’s powerful, robust with the puck, skates very well for a child his dimension, and has an enormous attain with that stick of his. Which helps him not solely within the offensive finish, and in soiled areas, however defensively. He doesn’t float again to his half of the ice. He breaks up performs. The whole package deal.”
Dach isn’t solely a robust bodily presence on the ice. He additionally has the talents to again it up. With correct coaching and preparation, he’s primed to be a dominant middle, which is able to assist the Blackhawks immensely.
Like each hockey participant, Dach has his strengths and weaknesses. It is very important acknowledge each as he prepares to make his NHL debut with the Blackhawks, however the execs outweigh the cons.
All stats obtained from hockeydb.com