MONTREAL – Back in 2019, the Blackhawks selected him third overall in hopes that he could be a player that could keep the team’s success over the previous decade going.
Now as the team begins a full rebuild, Kirby Dach is headed elsewhere in another major move for general manager Kyle Davidson in a few hours on Thursday.
Just after the NHL Draft began in Montreal, the Blackhawks traded the center to the Canadiens in exchange for the 13th overall pick in the 2022 draft along with the 66th overall selection in a deal that also included the Islanders.
This is the second major deal for the Blackhawks on Thursday after they sent Alex DeBrincat to the Senators for the seventh and 39th picks in the 2022 NHL Draft and a third round selection in 2024.
By making the two major deals, Davidson gets a pair of first round picks in 2022 after the team traded away their original selection in the Seth Jones deal on NHL Draft Night 2021.
When the Blackhawks moved up in the lottery in 2019, Dach was the player the team selected third overall in hopes of developing a new star in what was then a changing look for the franchise following three Stanley Cup titles. Dach made his debut that season, playing in 64 regular season games with eight goals and 15 assists before the COVID-19 pandemic paused the season in March.
In nine games in the Edmonton bubble that summer, Dach had a goal and five assists in what would turn out to be the only postseason appearance in Chicago.
Playing for Team Canada in December of 2020, Dach broke his wrist and wouldn’t return until late in the shortened 2021 season. He’d score two goals with eight assists in 18 games.
Dach was never able to find a rhythm as the Blackhawks’ fortunes took a turn for the worst in the 2021-2022 season. In 70 games under two different head coaches – Jeremy Colliton and Derek King – he had nine goals and 17 assists with a plus/minus of -18.
He’ll get the chance for a fresh start in his very young career while the Blackhawks get two more picks to start their rebuild.