Kirby Dach was a consensus top-10 pick entering the 2019 NHL Draft, a growing power forward with high upside and plenty of skill.
But the No. 3 overall pick? That’s an unexpected gamble by the Blackhawks that will be perhaps thrilling, perhaps painful and undeniably fascinating to evaluate over the coming decade.
Indeed, it’s the Saskatoon center Dach — not Bowen Byram, not Alex Turcotte, not even relative dark horses Trevor Zegras and Dylan Cozens — who became on Friday the face of the Hawks’ next generation, the kid chosen to singlehandedly revive a forward prospect pipeline that began the weekend pretty dry.
That’s a bold decision by Stan Bowman and the Hawks scouting staff, who weren’t thought to be likely to choose the Canadian until a swarm of rumors emerged in the final hours.