I recently re-watched one of my favorite movies, Interstellar by Christopher Nolan, director of the Batman trilogy, Inception and Memento (And coming in 2020 Tenet, his version of James Bond!) All of his movies have great music to accompany it. Like the great film makers of our age, Quentin Tarantino for example, their movies are always linked to a great score or soundtrack. Take out the music, and the film is nowhere near as good. Interstellar has a great theme song, composed by Hans Zimmer, which really sets the tone of the movie, it happens to be a song I listen to as part of my pre-game play list, and it also helps in putting my 5 week old baby girl to sleep. Saskatoon is a good team, but when Dach came to play this year, he added such a dominant soundtrack it elevated the whole experience.
It was the tale of 3 different parts for Dach this year. Overall he had a solid year, posting 25 goals and 73 points in 62 games for the Blades, going at a 1.18 point per game pace. 55 points were primary, including 21 goals and 44 points 5v5. But that’s the whole picture. How he got there is really interesting. The first 23 games of this season, he was on fire. Notching 13 goals and 39 points in 23 games at a whopping 1.7 ppg! If that had held though the season, he would of finished the season with 35 goals, 70 assists for 105 points. But then a 6-week slump hit. From November 17 till the new year, he managed 1 goal and 3 points in a 14 game period. This wall really caught people off guard and by new years, scouts had him outside the top 10. But the final 25 games and a push for the playoffs, the Dach we expected came back, and in force. He scored 11 goals and had 31 points in this time frame. This was good for 1.24 ppg, slightly above his season average. But more than the points, Dach became a force on the ice.
Size, skill and vision
It is pretty hard to miss Dach when he steps on the ice. Standing at 6 foot 4, he is a tower of a man, and as the season progress, he started to use all 6 foot 4 200 pound frame. It took time, from the slight pushing players off their mark, but by the back third of the season and into the playoffs, he was man among boys. Players couldn’t force him off the puck, he hit to hurt, he hit to get the puck and his puck protection really started to elevate to another level. With that puck protection it created extra time, which increased scoring opportunity for himself and his teammates.
Another thing that has been on his resume since the day he was drafted was his elite passing and vision. He might be the best passer in the draft next to Jack Hughes. His vision is also one of the best in the draft. Accompanied with his great puck protection, he is lethal in the cycle game in the offensive zone. His ability to hold then find his open man is outstanding. He has very soft hands for a big man, and in around the net, he is very lethal one on one with a defender.
Perceived as a pass first guy, he is not afraid to go straight to the net and use his soft hand and elusive wrist shot to try to get the puck into the net. He was used mainly as the set up guy on the power play, but 5v5 he is just as likely to pass as he is to shoot.
Kirby Dach's vision and puckhandling gets lots of talk (deservedly so), but I've also been impressed with his defence. He's so active on the backcheck, preventing entries and forcing dump ins.— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) October 12, 2018
A few clips from Oct 5. He led his team in failed entries against (6).#2019NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/wrWqEVh7vA
Kirby Dach makes it 1-0. He’s good. pic.twitter.com/QvQFokkfgk— Pat McKay (@PatMckayCTV) April 8, 2019
What a shift by Kirby Dach (#77 in yellow). Dach forces a play on the backcheck, moves low and steals possession. Then he breaks the puck out, wins a footrace, and makes two slick passes.— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) November 30, 2018
The #2019NHLDraft eligible already has 41 points in 27 games. The complete package. pic.twitter.com/QanVZYHrV0
What others are saying about him
“When you think of what teams are looking for in a No. 1 center, it looks a lot like Dach. He’s a right-shot centerman who measures in around 6-foot-4, with a lot of skill and offensive IQ and plays heavy minutes.” Corey Pronman ~ The Athletic
“He’s huge, he’s strong on the puck, he handles it well in tight (rare for a player his size), he’s a better skater then he gets credit for and his length makes him a lot to handle when he drives the net or controls the pucks on the cycle.” Scott Wheeler ~ The Athletic
If the Avalanche takes Dach with 4th pick, they will be drafting their future 2C. A big, physical, elite playmaking center at that. He would make an excellent 1-2 punch with MacKinnon. He has the elite vision and his playoff elevation was very impressive which makes taking Dach very easy.
The fact that he shoots right is a bonus given how lefty-heavy the Avalanche forward group is.
Where will be drafted and NHL time frame
While he is physically close to being NHL ready, I believe a year or 2 in junior will help him fill out his frame. Let him continue what he started in the playoffs, being a dominant force on the ice and continue to take over games. He has shown he can put up the points, with his 1.7 ppg sample, now if he can find something similar to that next year, he might be a one and done. With a couple over agers leaving, next year will be his chance to show why drafting him at 4 was the right move.
SB Nation Mock Draft
- New Jersey Devils - Jack Hughes
- New York Rangers - Kaapo Kakko
- Chicago Blackhawks - Alex Turcotte
- Colorado Avalanche - Kirby Dach
Our Other Scouting Reports: