Does Kirby Dach have future Top-6 upside?
The Montreal Canadiens traded for Kirby Dach this offseason before draft night. They gave him a four-year contract extension before training camp and helped cement him as a part of the team’s future.
With the Montreal Canadiens working to build around a young nucleus, Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes opted to bet on Dach’s performance. Frankly, it looks like a good bet, even this early in the season.
Dach got a change of scenery and was able to get settled in and acclimated in Montreal. He’s been anchoring the bottom six as the third-line center. The big question is if he has more in the tank and could move up if the opportunity allows it.
Montreal Canadiens forward Kirby Dach has top-six upside.
It’s pretty early in the season, that’s true, but the Habs have to be happy with what they have seen out of Dach. He’s registered a goal and two assists over six games for the Habs. His first tally with the organization was an overtime goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins from last week.
For Dach, he’s shown the ability to get pucks on net and is not afraid to trust his shot. He’s attempted 18 shots, with 11 getting on net. He’s got an 11.1 shooting percentage which is sixth-best on the team.
While he’s not leading the team in category after category, he’s providing a glimpse of what he could offer in the future. The only thing that holds me back from saying he deserves to be a center on the second line is the inability to consistently win draws.
He ranks last among centerman who have taken more than ten faceoffs in 2022-23. But, in terms of manufacturing offense and being able to provide benefits in the offensive zone, Dach has looked good.
He’s posted a 51.9% Corsi For percentage, which is 3.8% above the team average, indicative of his ability to create offense with his linemates and maintain control of the puck more often than the opposition. While he is a minus-one on the season, Dach has been able to shine in terms of his offense.
While he may not be that second-line center quite yet, that’s where I think his potential is. He will be able to keep developing and learning ways to improve his game. Expect things to keep improving on both ends of the ice.
After all, Dach is 21 years old. Even with three seasons of experience, he’s still learning and improving. He’s going to remain as one of the young pieces to keep around moving forward, and he has the potential to be a focal point of the second line and shine on special teams.