Kirby Dach’s Impact On The Blackhawks Organizational Depth

Now that the dust has settled from the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft, Blackhawks fans are waking up to the reality that Kirby Dach is a member of the organization (which we were the only outlet to predict).

What did the Blackhawks get in Dach? If you read our preview piece or anything since the pick was made you know they added a big, playmaking center. Comparisons range everywhere from Ryan Getzlaf to Mark Scheifele to Ryan Johansen – any of which would be a huge upgrade to a Hawks system that lacked size at the forward position.

Dach is immediately the best forward in the Blackhawks system. He adds size and playmaking ability at the center position the Blackhawks simply do not have in any other prospect. He joins an organization that had drafted centers of a certain size – roughly 6-feet tall and 180-190 pounds – over the past four years.

However, the Blackhawks have added some size at the center position by trade over the past 12 months. Dylan Strome won’t turn 23 until March 7 and, at 6-3 and 200 pounds, is bigger than any prospect in the Hawks system before they selected Dach. Strome had 51 points in 58 games after he was acquired from Arizona for Nick Schmaltz last year.

MacKenzie Entwistle (6-3, 181) was also acquired from Arizona; he was the key piece in the deal that sent Marian Hossa’s contract to the Coyotes. With Strome, Dach and Entwistle in the mix the Blackhawks have some good young size now.

Two other centers who were drafted recently, Evan Barratt and Jake Wise, will be back in the NCAA ranks this season but are worthy of attention. Barratt dominated the Big Ten at Penn State last year and emerged as one of the better forwards in college hockey; Wise was a highly regarded prospect until injuries slowed him down in his draft year and he was limited again in his freshman year at Boston University last year. Both could be in the mix for an NHL roster spot in the next few years.

Recent Draft Choices

Kirby Dach
6-4, 200
DOB: 01/21/2001
Acquired: 1st round – 3rd overall – 2019 NHL Draft
2018-19: Saskatoon Blades (WHL) – 62 gm, 25 g, 48 a, 73 pts

Jake Wise
5-11, 190
DOB: 02/28/2000
Acquired: 3rd round – 69th overall – 2018 NHL Draft
2018-19: Boston University (NCAA) – 12 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points

Philipp Kurashev
5-11, 192
DOB: 10/12/1999
Acquired: 4th round – 120th overall – 2018 NHL Draft
Signed
2018-19: Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) – 59 gm, 29 g, 36 a, 65 pts

Mikael Hakkarainen
6-0, 193
DOB: 01/26/1998
Acquired: 5th round – 139th overall – 2018 NHL Draft
Signed
2018-19: Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) – 42 gm, 19 g, 28 a, 47 pts

Evan Barratt
6-0, 190
DOB: 02/18/1999
Acquired: 3rd round – 90th overall – 2017 NHL Draft
2018-19: Penn State (NCAA) – 32 gm, 16 g, 27 a, 43 pts

Nathan Noel
5-11, 175
DOB: 06/21/1997
Acquired: 4th round – 116th overall – 2016 NHL Draft
Signed
2018-19: Rockford (AHL) – 46 gm, 2 g, 4 a, 6 pts

Free Agent / Trade Acquisitions

MacKenzie Entwistle

MacKenzie Entwistle
6-3, 181
DOB: 07/14/1999
Acquired: via trade from Arizona
Signed
2018-19:
Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) – 29 gm, 15 g, 12 a, 27 pts
Guelph Storm (OHL) – 28 gm, 15 g, 15 a, 30 pts
OHL Season Totals: 57 gm, 30 g, 27 a, 57 pts

Matthew Highmore
5-11, 181
DOB: 02/27/1996
Acquired: signed as free agent
Signed
2018: Rockford (AHL) – 12 gm, 3 g, 6 a, 9 pts

19 thoughts on “Kirby Dach’s Impact On The Blackhawks Organizational Depth

  1. I like the pick. Of course my hesitation is Bowman made the pick and players of size hasn’t worked out to well for him (he lost Kevin Hayes twice!) Don’t know about the Getzlaf hopes but would most Hawk fans settle for a young Andrew Ladd for the next 3-6 years?

  2. Mackenzie Entwistle has all the attributes of a power forward, if he becomes all that..in the next 1-2 years it would a huge upgrade for the Blackhawks and a steal of a trade

  3. Agree with David’s post, the hope is several players noted above make it to the NHL wearing the Indian on their Jersey !!!

  4. After my initial disappointment they didn’t take Byram or Turcotte – I’ve really warmed up to Dach. If he reaches his ceiling he could be a franchise #1 center and maybe even the best player in this draft. Will it happen? I don’t know but he has a good chance to be pretty damn good.

  5. A big bounce back from Wise this year after his injuries last year, could really boost the depth alot more.

  6. I read that Dach was rumored to be selected just before the draft.

    ER reflects my feelings exactly. Dach may be the best overall choice, compared to Turcotte, Cozens, and Zegras. Krebs was not in the conversation, but he may turn out to be one of the best C’s from this class. And then there’s Newhook (COL killed it with this draft).

    Has anyone ever read anything from this fool from FANSIDED:

    Chicago Blackhawks: 3 impacts of selecting Kirby Dach
    by Vincent Parise

    “They left future star defenseman Bowen Byram on the table and missed their opportunity to draft a potential number one defenseman which is one of the hardest things in hockey to find. It is also true that Dach probably isn’t the best forward in the draft outside the top two. Guys like Trevor Zegras and Alex Turcotte were on the board and the Blackhawks went off the board.

    “If they wanted Dach they likely could have traded down a few spots, gained some assets, and then still drafted Dach with whatever pick they traded down for. Now, Stan Bowman’s job is likely on the line with this pick and his development or lack thereof will determine Bowman’s future.”

    A few spots would be #5 LA, or perhaps #6 DET. This guy assumes these rebuilding teams would be willing to trade up to #3. No way. Would Dach have been there at #5? Maybe. At #6? Probably not.

  7. Original my guess is the guy never watched either Dach or Byram actually play a game, unlike the Blackhawks scouts who haved watched many.

  8. I should learn to count. Trading a few spots down means #6, possibly #7. For a long time I suggested swapping picks with BUF (we get 7 and 31). Dach would have been gone, but Cozens and Zegras would still be there.

    Ian, this “hockey analyst” is dumber than anyone you and I have read.

  9. Would love to see Wise bring it after being down and get back up. Be the Shawzer kind of player we could use. Him and Barratt could both do that. Having both make it would be huge for depth. I like Entwhistle and Kurachev. I mean that 4 dang good role players right there. These guys were good at juniors so they have a good record.

  10. Pretty sure COL picks Dach if we donot. LA was going to get Byram.

    Which means CHI COL LA wanted Dach more then Byram.

  11. Totally agree Morrison. There were reports today that the Hawks had known for a couple weeks that they were taking Kirby Dach.
    Trading back to Detroit would likely have meant missing out on Kirby Dach and when you are picking in the top 3, shouldn’t you pretty much get the guy you want ? As opposed to trading back in the draft and taking a guy who you have a bit lower ?

    It’s all water under the bridge now. We come home with Dach and Vlasic. Wow. Anything else from this draft is gravy.

  12. Original, that happened I think. redwings texted Bowman and offered something. Bowman told Kelley, thought about it, looked up at board and then again with steern look. Prob thinking Dach would be there at 5 but not 6 and thats why didnt do it. He thought about it for a min. Kelley got up and left table foe a couple min.

    You could Zyerman get the text and then text back, with Bowman counter.

    Didnt want to take the chance that Dach wouldnt be there and have to get Zegras or Turcotte.

    We really wanted Dach.

  13. Not because of red wings pick, but you can see there was a gap between 1 2 players and 3 4 5 players and 6-12. Didnt know that until we saw draft but it is there.

    The teams scouts knew all along, none of us or so called pro, pros, media, none of them knew like the teams scouts did. That there was a gap amounst these players 1-2, 3-5, 6-12.

    Only Hull was spot on and didnt sway. It doesnt matter but everyone everywhere was going back and forth for what 9 wks on who they likcd and had 2 or 3 they liked the most and after awhile would then keep coming back to the same player they liked the most, that was Byram for most.

    I was wrong, by dissing Dach from the start, because of the fricken media and pros and because I had cozens at first for awhile. Then I warmed up to Byram with all the talk, and had Turcotte in there after Cozens for first two wks. To not get pissed or upset or unrealistic about who we picked I told my self and others that there was 3-5 players that are all that good, elite and all of them are going be elite.

    That I trusted the organization with the pick, they know best and would pick the better player of these 3-5 players in that group after first 2.

    Didnt know it all along but the teams scouts knew those 3 Dach Byram Turcotte were above these other players and none of them were going past 5.

    Thats what we saw and now we know those 3 are clear cut above others, in there own group.

  14. Knowing that now, and seeing which teams did what, with that.

    I really like Dach and would have been more excited when you heard the name called with Turcotte or Byram. But now that we know those things I am just as happy with Dach.

    Mainley seeing that COL and LA would have picked Dach before Byram, tells me we really wanted this guy and so did COL and LA. D

    Does that mean Byram is not a #1, maybe. But what it does mean is more teams think Dach has a higher ceiling then Turcotte and Dach. Even though these players a very close.

    This must of been who Kelley was talking about when he said, separation is not much, between these 3.

    I one of the episodes Bowman says, all you see here is this round the ring outside OFF skill stuff. You do not see NHL playoff hockey style stuff here. So you cant tell whos good at that and those players better at highlight skill stuff stand out more here.

    Then there he was talking about good playoff style players. Thats prob them thinking Dach the guy of these elite players.

  15. Overall, to me seeing how much our guys wanted Dach and knew we could get him no matter what. Unless NY did something.

    Makes me feel really good about this pick because our guys wouldnt pick him if he wasnt who we thought would be better player. The special player of these elite players. Find out when were in conference finals with COL or CAL/VEG/SAN in a couple yrs.

    Be nice to see Dach just plow Byram and be the better player head to head.

  16. Morrison. You nailed it. Tons of size in this draft. For the critics that accuse the Hawks of loving smurfs, and only smurfs, I guess the tide has turned.

    I love this draft. I’m thrilled with what we picked in Dach and Vlasic.

  17. According to what I have read from scouts and hockey analysts, one thing stands out about Dach as compared to the others drafted: Best at controlling the puck. A 200ft player who does so many things well and is hard to play against. Expect Dach to spend a year back in the WHL for continued development, such as improving on face-offs and skating.

  18. Craig, here here! I have been saying for years that the Hawks are too small. These two picks have lots of skill with size and strength. The Hawks just improved big-time!

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