While a lot of attention has been paid to the 11th overall pick in the NHL Draft held by the Chicago Blackhawks, there’s a ton more that Chicago needs to address in their prospect system outside of their top overall pick. They hold two picks in the second round, two in the fourth round, a sixth round pick, and two seventh round picks. There could be a scenario where the Blackhawks trade the 11th overall pick and fall back the first round while adding more picks in this July’s Draft, but that remains to be seen.
Focusing on their two second round picks, there’s a need for a sizable winger with a scoring touch in the Blackhawks’ prospect system and a draft prospect who fits the bill perfectly that Chicago will most definitely make a move for: Colton Dach.
The younger brother of Chicago’s 2019 first-round pick Kirby Dach, Colton has rocketed up the charts of pre-Draft rankings this season. He was once considered no higher than a fourth-round pick by many heading into his Draft year, but a strong showing in a shortened WHL season has helped his stock climb consistently inside the top-100 of prospects. Dach tallied 11 goals and 20 points in just 20 WHL games this season after recording 11 goals and 29 points in his first WHL season in 2019-20.
I still see so much of Matthew Tkachuk in Colton Dach’s game. Much like Matthew, justtttttt another half step of explosion in his stride would open up a whole new world of options for him.
Very talented player. Understands the flow of the game so well.
— 🌬Joel Henderson💨 (@dathockeydoe) May 10, 2021
Dach is ranked as the 58th-best prospect by McKeen’s Hockey, 73rd by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, and was the 19th-ranked North American skater in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings. At 6’4″ and nearly 200-pounds, the Dach brothers are of similar build and size, but their skill sets are not as similar.
Blades president and general manager Colin Priestner was hopeful of that, but he drafted each Dach brother completely based on his own abilities, knowing they may never play together. Both are 6-foot-4, 200-pound forwards who are competitive and intelligent. Kirby is more of a pass-first center, and Colton is more of a shoot-first versatile forward.
“Colton is always looking to finish and has as an absolute cannon of a shot,” Priestner said. “I think next year he’s going to be a 40-50-goal guy for us, for sure. Where Kirby was the 30-goal guy and he’d get you 70 assists or whatever. Colton’s probably more of the 50-50 guy when it comes to goals to assists. Different players.
The Blackhawks have the 43rd (their own) and 57th overall picks (from Vegas) in the second round. Unless they acquire more, they won’t draft again until the fourth round with the 104th overall pick (from Vancouver). So if they are going after the younger Dach brother, they’ll likely have to get him in the second round.
Colton Dach goal: ✅
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 29, 2021
Every player is different.
Just because Kirby has developed quickly into an NHL-regular talent and projects to be a top-six impact forward for Chicago for a long time, doesn’t necessarily mean you can hang the same expectations on Colton. But, that isn’t to say that the younger Dach could physically mature in the same fashion as his older brother and speed up the process of him being an NHL-caliber talent.
Hey @NHLBlackhawks, how 'bout another Dach boy? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) June 5, 2021
The Blackhawks love themselves a good story and love to draft players that have connections, however loose or close-knit, to the organization. I’m sure that they can envision three years down the road, seeing plenty “K. Dach” and “C. Dach” sweaters around the United Center. Colton wouldn’t only make for a good family NHL Draft story, but would add a forward with the combination of scoring ability and size that Chicago’s prospect system lacks outside of a player like Michal Teply.
Yeah, the more I think about it, the more it totally makes sense that the Blackhawks are going to draft Colton Dach.