CHICAGO – One of the biggest storylines of the weekend was the meeting of the two players who were drafted in close proximity to each other in the 2017 NFL Draft at Soldier Field on Sunday night.
Naturally, the Patrick Mahomes-Mitchell Trubisky comparison took center stage in Chicago sports this weekend, with the Chiefs quarterback easily winning that battle over the Bears in a 23-6 decision. But on Monday, another match-up of high draft picks was also about to take place at the United Center that’s quite significant as well.
The NHL’s top overall pick from the 2019 NHL Draft was headed to town to face the third-overall selection, as Jack Hughes’ Devils visit Kirby Dach and the Blackhawks. Barring a trip by both to the Stanley Cup Final, this will be the second and last meeting between the picks during the 2019-2020 season.
“We’re pretty good friends off the ice, so it’s good to play against guys like that and have that friendly competition,” said Dach of Hughes.
Both players met on December 6th when the Blackhawks visited the Prudential Center, with Dach scoring the game-winning goal in the shootout to give his team a 2-1 victory. That was a bright spot in what has been a bit of a drought for Dach, who finally got on the board in December with a goal against the Avalanche on Saturday. Before that, he’d failed to score a single point in regulation or overtime since November 19th – a streak of 15-straight games.
Hughes has been in a goal drought himself, failing to score one since November 7th, but he did accumulate four assists during that time, adding to his nine for the season. Dach has six goals and five assists in his first season, and keeps in contact with Hughes often during the season.
“We chat back-and-forth about certain things and ask how each other is doing, and just to kinda check up,” said Dach of his conversations with Hughes. “He’s obviously a great player, he was picked first for a reason. It’s a big test for our group tonight to try to carry momentum from our road trip onto tonight.”
While also dealing with just a few comparisons to his fellow top draft pick.