VANCOUVER – Jonathan Toews has another center to tutor.
The Blackhawks drafted Canadian forward Kirby Dach with the third overall pick.
Some fans wanted to top defenseman Byram Bowen or Chicago area native Alex Turcotte, but Hawks general manager Stan Bowman had other plans.
“I’ve watched him close. I really fell in love with his game. He brings so much to the table. I think the thing that was really impressive was his competitiveness down the stretch. He showed, not only does he have the size and the skill, the talent to make plays and do the offensive things that you hope a top player will do, but he was so competitive in the playoffs. He’s a hard guy to play against. That combination of size, speed, skill, intensity – it’s hard to find those guys.”
Dach finished third in scoring for the Saskatoon Blades last year, tripling his goal total from the previous season.
Whether or not he’ll be in the Hawks lineup come October remains to be seen.
“We’re going to give him every chance to do it,” noted Bowman. “It’s sometimes hard for young guys, but I think, he’s certainly got the profile as far as physically. He’s got NHL-size right now. Can’t put too many expectations on it, but he’s going to have every chance to be on our team.”