It was announced on Monday that the Chicago Blackhawks signed Kirby Dach to a three-year, entry-level deal. This contract will take him through at least the 2021-22 season, with the possibility of an entry-level slide.
Blackhawks sign first-round pick Kirby Dach to a three-year entry-level contract. That does not mean he’s made the team, of course.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 8, 2019
Blackhawks Sign Kirby Dach
Dach was picked up 3rd overall in the recent 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Blackhawks. He was drafted behind talents such as Jack Hughes and Kappo Kakko. Playing for Saskatoon of the WHL last year, he had 73 points in 62 games.
Over three seasons total with the Saskatoon Blades, he has 129 points in 133 games. He has a total of 54 penalty minutes, with 40 of those coming last year. His accomplishments include a Hlinka Gretzky Cup championship with Canada in 2018 and leading the WHL in rookie assists in 2017-18 with 39.
What This Means for the Blackhawks and Dach
Obviously, Chicago signing Dach now gives them the option to have him on their opening night roster for this season. As a team trying to retool and achieve their former glory, a young, inexpensive piece like Dach could prove to be invaluable to the team. He possesses solid two-way play, though it remains to be seen if his skill set will carry over to the NHL level.
However, Dach’s only options are the NHL or the WHL. If Chicago deems Dach isn’t ready for full-time action, they can return Dach to the Blades of the WHL. Additionally, if Dach plays nine games or less, the team will not burn the first year of his contract, and the start of the deal will defer to next season.
Chicago already has tools on their roster in terms of forwards and they’re well equipped to make the decision that’s best for Dach’s development. It’ll be interesting to see what sweater Dach is wearing come the start of the NHL season.