It’s been nearly a month and a half since the NHL preseason ended for the Blackhawks, and save for a few recalls like Isaak Phillips and Filip Roos, the team’s prospects have been mostly forgotten since then. A few AHL players and other prospects were particularly impressive during the preseason, but perhaps none were as surprising as 20-year-old Colton Dach.
A second-round pick in 2021 by Chicago, Dach wasn’t expected to get too long of a look with the big club before heading to Rockford for his professional debut. Thanks to a string of impressive performances, he ended up as the last man standing after the Blackhawks made their final roster cuts. After an ankle injury sidelined him, though, Dach was placed on season-opening injured reserve. Once he was reactivated, he was quickly assigned to Rockford. Still, Dach had proven that he deserves consideration as the Blackhawks’ top forward prospect and first callup option.
Though Dach missed the first five games of the IceHogs’ season, he’s finally fully healthy and back to his normal elite production. The 6-foot-4 forward grabbed his first career AHL goal Friday night. On Sunday night, Dach had himself a career game, scoring three times and adding the game-winning shootout goal.
Headed to Chicago soon?
Dach put his tremendous scoring ability on display Sunday, which is a great sign for a Blackhawks team that’s currently struggling in that department. Averaging just 2.5 goals per game, Chicago’s young skaters are still trying to find their way against NHL-level defenses. If Dach can continue to dominate like he did Sunday, he’ll be a big-time asset when he joins the Blackhawks. As the 62nd-overall pick in his draft class, he’ll also represent a nice value pick.
Now that he’s fully healthy, it may not be long before the Blackhawks recall the young skater with the offensive ability he’s beginning to show. Dach’s hat trick surely caught the eye of GM Kyle Davidson and his staff, and if Chicago wants to get its offense rolling, he could be the answer they’re searching for.