Analysis

Blackhawks: Expect a Breakout Season from Kirby Dach

Kirby Dach #77, Chicago Blackhawks (Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports)
Kirby Dach #77, Chicago Blackhawks (Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kirby Dach is heading into his third season with the Blackhawks. Though one season was cut short due to COVID-19, and the other to injury, expect the third season to be a good one.

Kirby Dach was on pace for 46 points in his second season as a Blackhawk in an injury-filled year for him. We all know that he was not 100 percent and that the Blackhawks rushed him back too early. With a full offseason of recovery, his ]play should be ready for the next level and his body should be able to keep up.

As the third overall selection for the franchise in 2019, it is not farfetched to assume that Dach will be able to revert back to his dominating 2020 play-in form. With 6 points in 9 games for a rookie, he proved that he could be a problem when he’s 100%: Hard to knock off pucks, amazing speed and puck control, able to drive and make plays, and he is capable of crushing body checks (though he rarely does so). All that makes for a potential franchise cornerstone a la Ryan Getzlaf.

Playing on a line with (hopefully) Patrick Kane and Alex Debrincat, his points production should be on pace for about 70, as a first-line center should. Jonathan Toews should be able to help his faceoff woes (40.3% in 2020-21 via HockeyReference) as well and help mentor him to meet his potential. With the addition of Seth Jones as the number 1 defenseman for the franchise, this team will be all systems go on offense. High goal output will be expected of this team and Dach should be able to contribute on a high number of them.

With that said, his potential doesn’t match his current points production. I am aware that MANY people are not happy with Dach’s points output and lack of a presence. He is not a star yet, but he has the POTENTIAL to do so. He has to prove that he is the player the Blackhawks think he is, though he was rushed into the league way too early.

To wrap this all up, Kirby Dach should be the Blackhawks’ breakout player, playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Alex Debrincat. With mentorship from Jonathan Toews, he should be able to reach a new level in his game. With that said, a lot of people say that he is a future star when he has not displayed that skill yet. He will need to prove that he is the superstar for the next generation of Blackhawks hockey, not have the title handed to him.

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