Analysis

Pros and Cons of Kirby Dach Playing With Chicago Blackhawks

By Ryan Fedrau
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Kirby Dach, third overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks, poses for a portrait during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Kirby Dach, third overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks, poses for a portrait during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Kirby Dach has an opportunity to make the Chicago Blackhawks’ NHL roster. There are pros and cons that come with that.

Kirby Dach, 18, was the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft for the Chicago Blackhawks. With the pieces starting to come together for a second bid as the next NHL dynasty, when can we expect Dach to join the mix?

Dach had an outstanding showing in the Blackhawks’ development camp. The question that will be answered in a few short weeks when the Blackhawks’ start their Training Camp is if Kirby Dach in NHL ready or not.

Jeremy Colliton comes off as the type of coach that will aid and guide the players in their development process better than Coach Joel Quenneville did.

When Quenneville, 60, coached the Chicago Blackhawks, he was in a situation where the team was a winner. They didn’t place much focus or emphasis on the future.

This worked for a long time until the guys started to age and the team started to wear down.

Coach Quenneville has a very short fuse with players and if he doesn’t get the results he wants right away, he puts you in his dog house.

With Colliton, 34, as head coach, he seems to understand the big picture. Coach Colliton doesn’t want to rush Dach into the spotlight if he isn’t ready, unlike Coach Q.

Pros of Kirby Dach Playing Right Away

If Kirby Dach plays right away, he will be able to get acclimated to the speed of the NHL at his own pace.

Dach doesn’t necessarily have to be the number one guy right away like Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel had to be when they started their careers.

The Blackhawks’ are set with their first and second lines when it comes to the center position. The problem comes when you see the bottom-6.

There is a hole that Dach could fill right away as the 3rd or 4th line center. He would probably be taking David Kampf‘s spot, if he starts the season in Chicago, with Ryan Carpenter playing 4th line center.

By playing this season, Dach gets to spend more time around guys like Kane and Toews, who he can learn a lot from.

Playing on the same team as Jonathan Toews, who he shares a lot of similarities with, would be a huge benefit.

Dach would be learning the game just by watching Toews play while also practicing with him and getting the chance to pick his brain. This is the most ideal situation for Kirby Dach.

Playing in 2019-20 will give Dach the experience he needs to develop. With experience comes learning and learning makes you a better player.

Getting one season under his belt at his age would help him understand what he needs to work on going into the 2020-21 season.

As soon as he finds his weak points, he can focus on those and take his game to the next level.

Cons of Kirby Dach Playing Right Away

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Entry-level contracts have a clause that can benefit the Chicago Blackhawks. If Kirby Dach ended up not playing for Chicago this year, he could return to the Saskatoon Blades (WHL) for another season.

This would “slide” his contract a year, which means the Blackhawks would still have Dach under contract for 3 years.

Saving a year on his deal would benefit Chicago, considering how much money Kane and Toews make.

When Dach’s contract would be up in this scenario, so would theirs. In this scenario, there would be $21,000,000 available in cap space.

Both Kane and Toews won’t be getting paid as much in their next contracts, due to their age. The chance of them slowing down is higher if they haven’t already started by then. Kane will be 34 when his contract is up and Toews will be 35.

Early on, Chicago fans weren’t happy with the Kirby Dach selection in the draft. A lot of fans don’t like to wait for players to develop, and he would be getting a lot of pressure if he wasn’t a superstar from day one like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were.

The pressure of such a huge market like Chicago could affect his morale, and possibly, delay his success if he doesn’t live up to expectations. At the end of the day, Dach only is 18 years old and still has a lot to learn.

My Take

Chicago is a playoff team this year with, or without, Kirby Dach. I would play him from day one to give him the experience he needs on the ice, and hopefully, playoff experience.

Dach is in a nice spot, because he isn’t coming into a situation where he has to be the number one guy. He doesn’t have to lead the team in points, faceoff wins, etc. He just has to play his game and learn.

As long as Kirby Dach is in a situation where he doesn’t have to do too much and has a low chance of failure, he should join the Chicago Blackhawks for the 2019-20 NHL season.

The only factor I worry about is burning a year of his contract if he ends up playing and not being ready.

If Dach turns out to be the stud we all want him to be, he is going to get paid a lot of money. Him getting a big contract would be easier on the team in 4 years compared to 3 years.

Salary cap-wise, sending him to Saskatoon this season helps that, but experience-wise, playing in the NHL from day one would be great for his development.

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