Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Colton Dach Scouting Report.
The younger brother of Chicago Blackhawks centre, and 2019 third overall draft pick, Kirby Dach, Colton Dach was taken by the Saskatoon Blades with the sixth overall pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft. He continued to play midget hockey with the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers in 2018-10. Dach scored 16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points in 32 games He also scored three goals and seven points in eight games. He led the team to the Mac’s Tournament, where he put up two goals and four assists for six points in four games. Dach also represented Team Alberta at the Canada Winter Games in 2018-19. He put up three goals and three assists for six points in six games and helped the team to win the bronze medal.
In 2019-20 Dach made his WHL debut. He had a solid rookie season with 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in 62 games before the COVID-19 Pandemic cut the season short. Dach was even better this season. He played in 20 games for Saskatoon, putting up 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points. Dach has shown versatility over his time with the Blades, playing both left-wing and centre.
Colton Dach Scouting Report
Center/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born January 4th, 2003 — Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
Height 6’4″ — Weight 196 lbs [193 cm / 89 kg]
Coming in at 6-foot-4, Dach is a decent skater for his size. He will never be known as a burner. He has above-average top-end speed. However, his first few steps and acceleration can use some improvement. Dach also has very good edgework and agility for his size. This allows him to weave in and out of traffic both with and without the puck. Dach has a long, powerful stride. It is very difficult to knock him off the puck. Dach also has excellent balance. This should only improve as he continues to add muscle to his frame. This allows him to fight through checks and control the puck down low. He is also able to win battles along the boards and in front of the net.
Dach combines his size with good stickhandling ability. This allows him to protect the puck and create plays in the cycle game. He is very good down low, controlling the puck and giving his teammates time to get open. When they do get away from a defender, he can use his long reach and quickly shift the angle on his stick to open up a passing lane. Dach has the skill to get the puck to a teammate to create that opportunity. However, his passing is a little inconsistent as there are times he can miss his attempts. His vision is very good though.
Dach also has a very good wrist shot and release. He generates a lot of power on his shot. The puck is also deceptive off his stick and this creates issues for goalies. He also has a good slap shot and one-timer. Dach often plays on the point on the power play, sneaking into the top of the faceoff circles and using his wrister, or taking the slapper from the line. Dach uses his size to get to the dirty areas of the ice. When he is in front of the net, his size creates issues for goaltenders. He also has the skill to elevate the puck quickly and get it into tight areas. He also has the hand-eye coordination to tip in shots and quickly pounce on rebounds.
Dach also uses his size effectively at the defensive end. His long stick cuts down passing lanes and takes away the middle of the ice. He is also willing to use his size and strength to support the defence against the cycle game and work the boards down low. Dach reads the play well and is able to cut plays off and create turnovers. While he is not a big hitter, he is willing to use his size to his advantage, leaning on opponents to win battles along the boards. He plays a very disciplined game, not getting out of position chasing the puck or a big hit. He is also good in the face-off circle for his age.
Projection and Comparison
With his size and skills and pedigree, Dach should be an intriguing prospect in this draft. Of course, he is not the sure-fire can’t miss prospect that his brother is. However, he still could be an effective middle-six player in the NHL if he reaches his potential. His versatility to play both centre and wing is intriguing. Dach will need to improve his skating to stay at centre and to take his game to the next level though. His game is very reminiscent of his brother, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Colton Dach that are available on youtube as well as Twitter.
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) February 22, 2019
Colton Dach's shot was stopped by Benjamin Gaudreau but Gaudreau kicked the puck over to Tyson Laventure, who scored Alberta's fourth unanswered goal to make it 6-4. #WHL #CWG2019 pic.twitter.com/Sc6zS8n6Cd
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) February 22, 2019
Colton Dach ties the game 2-2 with just 8 seconds left in the second period. That’s a sharp angle shot that Bilous definitely wants a chance at again. pic.twitter.com/pVH42EuSBH
— Kyle Kosowan (@kyle_kosowan) December 28, 2019
— AccessNow Sports (@AccessNowSports) March 26, 2021
Colton Dach goal: ✅
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 29, 2021
— Jeff D'Andrea (@Jeff_paNOW) March 29, 2021
Colton Dach – @BladesHockey
In a #2021NHLDraft year where size is prevalent in the WHL, Colton brings an element of finesse when using the fullness of his reach. Pulling the puck to his forehand to get a better shot angle like this is a wonderful tool to have in the toolkit. pic.twitter.com/wOOdZvoVx0
— Puck Preps Western Canada (@PuckPrepsWestCa) April 5, 2021
He tallied a team-high 11 goals last season, and NHL Central Scouting took notice.
Here's how Colton Dach rocketed to 3rd among WHL players entering the draft 🎥 pic.twitter.com/jtwZUY7M1C
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) May 28, 2021
Check back later for our latest NHL Draft article.
Colton Dach Scouting Report Main Photo:
EVERETT, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 22: Saskatoon Blades forward Colton Dach #34 skates through the neutral zone during the third period of a game between the Everett Silvertips and the Saskatoon Blades at Angel of the Winds Arena on November 22, 2019 in Everett, Washington. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)