Colton Dach – 2021 NHL Draft Profile
Team 2020-21: Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
Date of birth: January 4, 2003
Place of birth: Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
Height: 6 feet 4 inches Weight: 205 pounds
Position: Center / Left Winger
NHL Draft Eligibility: Eligible for Year 1 2021
When the Central Scout Service (CSS) released its provisional annual ranking, more than a few eyebrows were raised on some of the final placements. It was surprising to see Mason McTavish second among North American skaters, followed by Kent Johnson third and, very interestingly, Matt Beniers sixth, who has long been in the conversation for the first overall pick in 2021 since his strong performance in the 2021 World Junior Championships. But perhaps the player who had the most meteoric rise was Colton Dach of the Saskatoon Blades.
Related: 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Prior to the CSS roster, Dach was hardly seen as more than a fourth round goal; only two major publications ranked him in their top 100. However, the CSS ranked him as their 19th best skater in North America and third best skater in the WHL (second if Cole Sillinger is excluded, who spent the season in the USHL), ahead of Logan Stankoven, Olen Zellweger, Connor Roulette and Ryder Korczak, all of whom have been considered first-round selections at one point or another. So how has the Saskatoon Blades’ underrated prospect climbed so quickly?
The first thing you might notice is Dach’s last name, and yes, he’s the younger brother of young Chicago Blackhawks star Kirby Dach. Unsurprisingly, the couple share a lot of traits with each other. The two are 6ft 4in tall, with Colton reaching the height after a growth spurt this season, and are separated by just four pounds, which is impressive when comparing a junior to an NHL player. They also play a similar 200-foot game, showing a strong hockey sense, and are not shy about the physique, although Colton is the rougher of the two. For those who have seen how Kirby has grown so far, these comparisons are a good sign for Colton.
But that doesn’t mean Colton is exactly like his brother. Unlike Kirby, Colton is much more of a natural goalscorer, possessing a strong and precise shot that he can use to pick any corner of the net he wants. This season, he led the Blades with 11 goals in 20 games, or 37 goals in a full season in the WHL. In comparison to the league’s last full campaign, only 16 players matched or exceeded that total in 2018-19. He has also demonstrated his ability to pick his teammates with long, crisp passes that create excellent scoring opportunities, and he finished the season at a points per game pace. Dach has a solid attacking game that will make him a great junior player next season.
However, his offensive totals may not be as impressive as they initially appear. With the WHL only playing a 24-game season, many players have managed to finish at a points-per-game pace. While his scoring rate would have placed him in the top 15 in scores two seasons ago, he has placed 30th this season in goals in 2020-21. He also ended the season with just nine assists, which seems to indicate that he benefited greatly from his linemates Tristan Robins, a second-round pick last year, and Kyle Crnkovic, a forward eligible for the draft. second year who led the team with 32 points. He clearly played his best hockey when he crossed the first row, hinting that his totals may have been inflated somewhat.
There are more holes in Dach’s game that some scouts are concerned about, such as his acceleration and explosiveness, which could limit his ability to carry the game. But, just like his brother, he can play well on either end of the game. ice. He’ll play hard and physical if needed, or shoot a long pass to set up an escape game, or position himself squarely in front of the net, ready to catch a pass and pass it through the goalie. Many players can do these things better, but few can do everything better than he. As the old saying goes, “Jack of all trades, a master of none, although often better than a master of one.” This is what makes Dach such an intriguing prospect and why he has suddenly climbed some rankings.
Other THW draft profiles:
Colton Dach – NHL Draft Screening
Ahead of the CSS standings, Dach looked destined to be a late pick, possibly in the fifth or sixth round with a chance of getting caught in the fourth. But now, it seems some Scouts value his skills a lot more than others, and his new ranking implies he might squeeze into the second one. The safe bet is to expect him to be a third round selection, as he is a riskier choice as his potential is largely unknown, but he is still much safer than some of the other selections that don’t. don’t have his size or his hockey sense.
“Colton definitely has the size, the pedigree, the offensive play, and he also has an advantage in his game. He’s a versatile guy, able to play both center and wing, so I think he is. he will be a guy who really rides while we play. [this season] and he is up to the challenge. Colin Priestner, general manager of the Blades (of “Saskatoon Blades”, Colton Dach deciphers the list of players to watch from Central Scouting, Saskatoon Phoenix Star – 2/2/21)
“He might not have as strong a pre-draft reputation as his older brother Kirby in 2019, but Colton is a player and more. He’s the same size and long reach that helps him dominate the puck in possession play, but he also shows agility and gentle hands when working the puck with his teammates. Dach has spent most of the season centering skilled playmakers Kyle Crnkovic and Tristen Robbins, so the big guy fits well in a slot role or a goalie role, especially on the power play. Steve Kournianos, project analyst
“I still see Matthew Tkachuk so much in Colton Dach’s game. Just like Matthew, [just] another exploding half-step in its wake would open up a whole new world of options. Very talented player. Understands the flow of the game so well. ” Joel Henderson, Future Considerations
- Handling the washer
Under construction (improvements to be made)
- Control the pace of the game
- Long term potential
Although he currently plays at center, Dach will likely be transferred to the left wing in the pro ranks and has tried his hand at this position before this season. That’s probably because he just doesn’t have the high-level skills to remain a center in the NHL. Best of all, he’s a competent two-way winger, last six, who could get a center position if needed and could be relied on in any situation, perhaps in the direction of Garnet Hathaway or Barclay Goodrow. But, like these comparisons, it will take a long time for it to evolve into this, so write wisely.
Risk – 3/5, reward – 2.5 / 5
Fantastic hockey potential
Offense – 6/10, Defense – 6/10
Awards / Achievements
Dach represented Team Alberta at the 2018-19 Canada Winter Games, where he scored three goals and six points in six games and helped his team win a bronze medal against Team Saskatchewan.
Interview / Profile links
Colton Dach Statistics
An elementary day teacher and avid hockey enthusiast, Dayton joined the Hockey Writers in 2019 and currently covers the Ottawa Senators, World Juniors and NHL Draft.