NHL Draft: Kirby Dach

Name: Kirby Dach

Team: Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

Position: Center

Height/Weight: 6’4 198lbs

Hand: Right

NHL Draft Ranking: 6th

Western Prospects Ranking: 2nd

Estimated Draft Position: Fourth Overall to Eighth Overall


 

Areas of Strength

  • Elite One on One Instincts
  • Exceptional Vision
  • Reach and Range

Areas of Weakness

  • Body Language
  • Lacks Next Gear
  • Intensity

Report: Kirby Dach is a game breaking playmaker that has been a polarizing prospect amongst the NHL community for several years now. Since the age of 12 Kirby Dach has always played against older opposition. Suiting up bantam and midget level hockey as an under age in Fort Saskatchewan. Even in the WHL, Dach was an emergency recall for the Saskatoon Blades where he suited up in 19 regular season games as a 15 year old and produced six goals + ten points. Since then Dach has been a dominant offensive force in the WHL, over the last two season he has had 127 total points (Regular Season + Playoffs) which is the most from any Saskatoon Blades player in that time frame. On top of his success in the Western Hockey League, Dach has also seen a high volume of production internationally. With seven points at the U-17s and Ivan Hlinka Tournament over the last couple years. Dach is very likely to end up on the Canadian World Junior team next season where he will be accountable for a large portion of the teams offence. It seems like wherever Dach plays he finds success, and that seemingly isn’t going to change once he enters the NHL. Dach has vocally expressed that he models his game around Ryan Getzlaf, a comparison we find very accurate. Other comparable players are Blake Wheeler, Ryan Johansen, and Jason Spezza.

Big right handed centers are hard to come by and standing at 6’3 with a long lanky physique, Kirby Dach’s finds himself in uncommon company with raw size that is superior amongst others in his draft class. Equipped with long legs, Dach has movement around the ice that is effortless and fluid, though his skating abilities aren’t well-above average his stride is graceful and his footwork – elusive. When it comes to beating defenseman one on one, no forward in this draft does it better than Kirby Dach. Exploiting his reach and range through quick pulls of the puck from one side of his body to the other while also being capable of adjusting his skating attacking angle and forcing his way inside or out. Dach’s as deceiving as it gets possessing off the rush, unpredictable and fully able to execute the complicated adjustments he attempts. He just oozes confidence with the puck, and always wants the puck on his stick, not afraid of being the lone attacker off the rush and poised to adjust his pace depending on the support coming with him. An elite playmaker with well above average vision and a quick-thinking internal processor. Dach see’s the game two step ahead, he handles differing pressure points in the offensive zone with composure and  he recognizes developing offensive openings before they happen. It’s rare to see a player with his stature and smarts. Playing a pass-first game, looking to control along the outside and distribute to the inside, Dach quick thinking allows him to recognize the hand of his target and hit his stick in stride at an incredibly efficient rate. Along with those elite playmaking abilities, Dach’s shooting abilities are above average as well. He has a quick whipping release on his wrist shot, Dach can score from any where and at any time. Once again using that raw range to change the angle of his shot. Though physically his puck control is off his body with the lengthy reach, Dach can maintain possession effortlessly thanks to polished mechanics and reactionary quick hands. Kirby has really developed his two-way game over this past season, that ability to recognize line mates abilities is starting to translate to the defensive end as well. Dach recognizes the most skilled player on the opposing team and glue’s himself to that assignment, showing many times this year that he’s capable of shutting down top opposing players and displaying that team-first mentality and versatility. There have been players in the past with similar physical abilities that have struggled translated it to the NHL due to the amount of space needed to succeed, Dach doesn’t have that issue, he can handle in a phone booth and his game excels in all pressure points/spots. Overall Dach is a balanced poised centre whose success in the NHL is easily projectable, there are no glaring weaknesses to his game and Dach never chases the game but is instead the player getting chased. There’s a lot of eye-gazing components to Kirby Dach’s game, and we think that he’s no doubt a first line calibre player.