Colorado Avalanche: Kirby Dach Would Bring Whole Package

KELOWNA, BC - DECEMBER 01: Kirby Dach #77 of the Saskatoon Blades lines up against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on December 1, 2018 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
KELOWNA, BC - DECEMBER 01: Kirby Dach #77 of the Saskatoon Blades lines up against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on December 1, 2018 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche have a fourth-overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft. Might they use it on whole-package forward Kirby Dach?

The Colorado Avalanche have two first-round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft. The first selection, which came to Colorado in the Matt Duchene trade, is the fourth–overall.

It was something of a disappointment to see the Avalanche drop in the Draft Lottery again. Ottawa finished dead-last in the NHL, giving the Avs the best chance at one of the top-three picks. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

Well, as GM Joe Sakic said, the Avalanche are sure to get a good player with the fourth-overall position.

A popular choice for that position is center Kirby Dach. The Avs do need some bolstering at the center position. So, let’s look at whether Dach would be a good fit.

Kirby Dach

2018-19 Team: Saskatoon Blades, WHL
Date of Birth: Jan 21, 2001 (18 years old)
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 198 lbs.
Position: Center
Shoots: Right

Ranked #7 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #3 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #3 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #4 by TSN/McKenzie

As you can see, Kirby Dach is scouted to be a top-10 draft pick. He’s projected to go as high as three and no lower than seven — that’s right in the Colorado Avalanche’s territory.

As mentioned in the title, Dach is a whole-package kind of player. He’s big — 6-foot-4 with a big frame that’s likely to fill out from 198 pounds. He is both a goal scorer and a playmaker. And he skates well for a player his size.

Dach has played the last three seasons with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. Last year he earned 73 points (25 goals, 48 assists) in 62 games. He represented Canada U18 at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup this year, earning 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in five games.

Here’s what the Draft Analyst thinks of Kirby Dach:

"Big-bodied playmaking center with outstanding passing skills and soft hands who is one of the best draft-eligible players at incorporating all his teammates into the attack…Dach can create time and space using a variety of methods on zone entries, and he can stutter-step defenders out of position.”"

The scout adds that Dach displays “elusiveness for a big man” and remarks especially on his agility and stick ability.

Scout Bill Placzek of Draftsite also praises Dach’s “soft hands” and stick handling ability. He calls Kirby a “high-end playmaker.” He finishes with this analysis:

"“Big guy with big strong wrists, who gets in close and difficult to move out from the front or take the puck away from. It might take time but no NHL team is going to pass on big man with these tools.”"

As Ben Kerr of Last Word on Hockey, and all three scouts, point out, an area of work for Kirby Dach is his skating. According to Kerr, Kirby displays good top-end speed but needs work on his acceleration and first few steps.

Kerr admires how Dach uses his size to “go through defenders” rather than try and deke around them. The scout also praises Kirby’s wrist shot, release, and his vision. All three scouts are in awe of his passing abilities, especially the saucer pass.

Kirby Dach in action:

Check out the 2:17 mark when the Blades players appear to be wearing Don Cherry-style suits instead of regular uniforms.

Kirby Dach and the Colorado Avalanche

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Kirby Dach is a big boy with a lot of skills, and I like that. Yes, he needs a little work on his skating, but the Colorado Avalanche have trainers especially for that.

And the Avs need size. They’re getting smaller on the blueline, so it seems fitting that they should get at least a little bigger up front.

Besides size, I also like that Dach seems to have a nose for scoring. He’s not afraid to drive to the net, and he has the skills to make good things happen when he does that.

The Avalanche have eight picks this season:

#4 (from Ottawa)
#62 (also from Ottawa)

I’d be happy if Kirby Dach was the first name they called in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Next. New Co-Ed Ice Patrol. dark

The 2019 NHL Draft takes place on June 21 – 22 in Vancouver, B.C. While the time for the first round hasn’t been announced, last year it was at 5:30 pm MT.