The Blackhawks have very high expectations following a flurry of moves made this off-season. There are multiple young players who are bound to make a big jump this upcoming season, including third-year center Kirby Dach.
Dach has yet to play a full NHL season due to the wrist injury keeping him out for 68 percent of last season and only playing 64 of 82 games as a rookie. He has consistently showed glimpses of being a top six center with the Blackhawks and is ready to go for the 2021-22 NHL season.
Dach revealed a couple days ago he is back at 100% after breaking his wrist at the 2020 IIHF Championship, just before the start of the NHL season.
At 6’4″ 197 pounds, Dach is an imposing force at center that teams will soon fear once he puts it all together. Still only 20, he has plenty of time to improve and refine his game as a third or even second-line center this season.
Throughout training camp, Dach has played alongside Alex Nylander, Adam Gaudette, Dominik Kubalik, and Philip Kurashev. While we don’t exactly know where Dach will slide into the lineup, it is fair to say that he might even get a chance with the top line alongside Alex Debrincat and Patrick Kane.
With the preseason finally getting underway, it will be interesting to see where head coach Jeremy Colliton tries to fit him in. While I, along with many other Blackhawks fans, want to see Kirby with Kane and Debrincat early on, it is highly unlikely we see him with them for awhile.
Based on lines for power play in training camp, Dach will be a part of the second power play unit. He, along with Dominik Kubalik, headline that unit from the final day of training camp. It sounds like Kirby will be assuming the Jonathan Toews role for the second power play group for the start of the season.
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With just less than two weeks until puck drop for the 2021-22 NHL season, I am really excited to see what kind of jump and boost Kirby can make in, hopefully, his first full season with the Chicago Blackhawks.