NHL Prospect Profile: Kirby Dach
– Kirby Dach –
Saskatoon Blades (WHL) | Center | 2019 NHL Draft Eligible
Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada | January 21, 2001 | 6-foot-4, 198-pounds
Kirby Dach is a dynamic, playmaking power-forward who plays the game like a four-year veteran of the WHL. Chipping in seven goals and 46 points in 52 games for the Blades in 2017-18, Dach showcased an elite combination of skills which he boasts in all the zones of the ice.
Standing at 6-foot-4 as just a 17-year-old, it is easy to get excited about the potential within Dach, especially as he begins to fill out his frame. At the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Dach quickly became an offensive catalyst on Canada’s first line, alongside Peyton Krebs and Alexis Lafrenière, landing third in team points.
- Puck Handling
- Size and Strength
Kirby Dach exhibits exceptional playmaking talents shift in, shift out. He sees the ice very well and can predict where his teammates and opponents will be, one-step ahead of the game. This, combined with incredible puck skills, have allowed Dach to be a perennial leader his assists at every level in his career. He can almost always find a passing lane that no one else in the rink can see.
Factor in Dach’s size and strength and you get a grinding menace to defend in the offensive zone. He protects the puck with his lower-body strength and cycles the puck admirably, creating extra time for his teammates to find open space in front of the net.
A common theme among tall teenage players is a lacklustre skating ability. This stereotype can also be applied to Dach as well, whose top speed limits him from being an offensive machine. As he continues to grow and fill out his frame, Dach will need to find an extra gear which would allow him to blow by defenders, if he truly wants to be an elite center at the NHL level. He also needs to work on his faceoff abilities if he wants to be relied upon in all situations, as he won just 41.1% of draws in the ’17-18 season.
Kirby Dach estimates to slot into a second-line center role at the NHL level for the time being. However, should his skating and faceoff abilities improve, he could certainly push the conversation as a first-line player. His playmaking abilities will always set him apart from competition. Comparables include Ryan Getzlaf and Niklas Backstrom. Heading into his NHL Draft eligible season, Dach currently projects as a Top-10 pick for 2019.