After an impressive rookie season, Kirby Dach has some things he needs to work on if he wants to be with the Chicago Blackhawks for the long haul.
Dach has a few things he needs to work on this offseason. They’re little things but they’ll go a long way to helping him have a successful career in the NHL.
He first needs to start working on being consistent at the faceoff dot. During his rookie season, he had a 33.8% success rate at the faceoff dot. As a center in the NHL, you cannot do that poorly and expect to remain in the starting lineup. If Dach is to become an elite forward, he will have to become more aggressive and more consistent at the faceoff dot.
Luckily for him, he has Jonathan Toews to learn from. If he pays attention to the details Toews does, the Blackhawks will have another elite center for the next 10-15 years to come.
Second is Dach’s skating ability. Coming out of the draft, Dach was pushed as the third-best North American skater in the draft. At 6-foot-4, he is big and strong, with the potential to be hard to knock off of the puck.
His size and skill helped him hold his own in the NHL this season if he can become stronger on his edges, he’ll be even harder to knock off of the puck. He has the ability to be a very physical player, it just comes with his ability to stay balanced.
There were many times this season Dach was put in an awkward situation due to his size and skating ability. Yes, he’s a good skater, but he can get even better. He needs to hit that next level from year one to year two.
The last is Dach’s ability to score. We’ve seen Dach score eight times during his rookie season. The kid was pushed as a “can’t miss prospect” with a dangerously accurate shot. He’s been very inconsistent on the score sheet. He went through two different long gaps where he didn’t score a single point in a game.
The first gap was 16 games, the second was 12 games. That’s 28 out of 29 games in a row where Dach failed to get on the score sheet. If he’s going to become an elite player in the NHL, he has to contribute offensively more frequently.