What should the Blackhawks do with Kirby Dach?

Kirby Dach - Winnipeg Jets v Chicago Blackhawks
Kirby Dach - Winnipeg Jets v Chicago Blackhawks / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Through 70 games this season with the Blackhawks, Kirby Dach has 9 goals and 17 assists. The 21 year old centremen has battled injuries this season, but when healthy is a huge part of the team's forward group. With his contract expiring this season, it's easy to wonder what the team is going to do with the upcoming restricted free agent. Through his 3 seasons with the Blackhawks, Dach has played 152 games. He only played 18 games in the 2020-21 season because of a broken wrist he suffered after a slash, but still looked impressive in the short amount of time.

""A two-way center with exceptional hockey sense. Dach is also a highly-skilled playmaker who sees openings that most players don't. Despite his large stature, he is surprisingly shifty and equipped with fine hands and creativity.""

EliteProspects, 2019.

Dach has always been a strong player in both ends of the ice. The natural scoring touch he has only adds to his all around game that scouts were salivating over at the 2019 NHL entry draft when the Blackhawks took him at #3 overall. Dach cracked the roster and played 64 games in his rookie season after putting up over a point per game in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades the previous year. HIs ability to play a fantastic transition game only adds to his overall value as he eases into the early stages of his career.

Next Contract

Dach will likely sign a bridge deal with the Blackhawks, meaning it will be a short term deal with a little less money then he's really worth. Kind of like a "prove it" contract. His injury troubles obviously worry the Blackhawks, but that isn't a reason to just let him walk. They will do everything they can to keep him around and make him a huge part of the rebuild and new culture. I can see Dach signing a two year contract extension this off-season, worth between $1.5-2.25M AAV. If he continues to get better and works on the parts of his game that need improvement, then he will quickly turn himself into a star, and earn himself a big payday.