Chicago Blackhawks: 1 player’s development is key to success this year

(Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks are hoping that all of the big moves that they made this offseason help make them a playoff contender this year. With those, plus Jonathan Toews coming back, there is a lot to be excited about. However, the Hawks having a significant amount of success this season could depend on one particular young player. Everyone needs to play well but Kirby Dach’s development is very important.

If Dach reaches his max potential, which is a top-six NHL centerman, the Hawks will have three really good centers with Toews, Dach, and recently acquired Tyler Johnson. That is a big key to winning in the NHL and the Hawks are already at an advantage.

Dach was the third overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. It may or may not have been the right pick but at minimum, he is going to be a great center. He has already shown the tools of being a star player but he needs more consistency in his game.

So far in his NHL career, he has 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points in 82 games. However, two of those goals and eight of those assists (ten points) came in 18 games last season. The season was short because of COVID-19 and Dach suffered an injury during the World Junior Championships ahead of the season so he wasn’t able to really hit his stride.

The Chicago Blackhawks need Kirby Dach to take a big step this upcoming season.

With a full 82 game schedule on the horizon, Dach appears to be in line for a big year. He is a big kid at 6’4″ and 197 lbs so you know he can use that to his advantage. When you combine that with his pure hockey skills, you could have a very good power forward in the middle of the ice. Putting all of these skills and assets together should help turn him into a stud.

Dach, with Toews easing back in, could be the top center a lot of the time. That could mean wingers like Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and Dominik Kubalik could see time with him at different points in the season. All of them would really help him and his development as they can all score goals that Dach sets up for them and they can also help Dach score some himself. This could lead to a lot of extra wins.

With Dach dominating in the middle of the ice, it will make things hard on the other teams. They will, of course, game plan for Toews if he is fully healthy and playing well. That means that if Dach is just as lethal (if not more) than Toews, the Hawks can create many mismatches. It is clear that Dach taking the next step is a big part of 2021-22 Chicago Blackhawks’ success.

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