The Chicago Blackhawks knew they were getting a top forward prospect in Kirby Dach when they took him third overall in the 2019 NHL Draft. They officially welcomed him to the NHL ranks Monday with a three-year, entry-level contract that pays $925,000 a season.
Dach is coming off an impressive year with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades where he racked up 25 goals and 73 points in 62 games. He also had eight points in 10 playoff games for the Blades.
The 18-year-old was one of many elite forwards available in the draft, and though he was projected to go between fifth and 10th overall, the Blackhawks decided to take him a bit earlier than expected. It’s smart they did because he’s just the player they need.
2019 NHL draft: Final grades, analysis for all 31 teams
At 6′ 4 and 198 pounds, Dach is an all-around player and a force to be reckoned with who’s as he’s hard to knock off the puck. His frame helps him serve as a dominant presence and his physical and aggressive style of play gives him more time and space to work with. He’s also the kind of player that likes to make creative, unique plays on the fly and has the size, hands and hockey IQ to pull them off.
In addition, Dach is a strong passer and someone who likes to go hard to the net and is always looking to score.
Dach’s given his style of play and scoring ability could potentially earn him a roster spot heading into this season. He could outplay current fourth-line center David Kampf and start there, or he could come in as the extra forward.
Whether it’s this season or next, he will eventually join the Blackhawks’ offensive arsenal of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat and likely become a key member of Chicago’s future young core as a new generation takes over.
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