Blackhawks’ Day 2 draft picks: Colton Dach, Kirby’s brother, selected 62nd
The Hawks’ eight-man 2021 draft class features forwards Dach, Victor Stjernborg, Ilya Safonov and Jalen Luypen and defensemen Nolan Allan, Taige Harding, Ethan Del Mastro and Connor Kelley.
One day after uniting the Jones brothers, Seth and Caleb, the Blackhawks united the Dach brothers.
The Hawks used their first selection on the second day of the NHL Draft on Saturday — 62nd overall, near the end of the second round — on Colton Dach, the younger brother of emerging star Kirby.
‘‘When I heard my name, I stood up and I looked right at my mom, and she almost had tears in her eyes,’’ Colton said. ‘‘It means a lot to them, [given] everything they’ve done for Kirby and [me]. Now that we’re in Chicago together, they can sleep a lot easier, knowing they only have one flight to go watch one team.’’
Colton, 18, entered the weekend without quite as much hype as Kirby, now 20, generated when the Hawks nabbed him third overall in 2019. But Colton still was projected to be selected late in the first round or early in the second, making him not only a great storyline but also great value at 62nd.
Kirby, coincidentally, published a touching video Friday about his and Colton’s childhoods together, something Colton said he knew nothing about until seeing he had been tagged on Instagram.
Colton’s 2020-21 season was limited by the pandemic, but the shutdown wasn’t all bad: He grew from 6-1 to 6-4 (and 205 pounds) during it. In the shortened Canadian junior season, he still managed to produce 20 points (including 11 goals) in 20 games for the Saskatoon Blades, Kirby’s old team.
Scouting reports describe Colton as a shoot-first center who uses his length to hold off defenders, creating space to make plays. His skating is a weakness, but the Hawks hope he can improve in that area in time, similarly to the way Kirby did as a 19-year-old.
‘‘One of the biggest differences between Kirby and I is he’s a pass-first and I’m a shoot-first player,’’ Colton said. ‘‘If we get a chance to play together, it’d be a perfect fit. He likes to move the puck, and he’s a very skilled forward. I like to get in areas where I can receive and shoot the puck, so we’d complement each other well.’’
The Hawks clearly focused on size with their other picks Saturday.
They traded a third-round pick next year for the Hurricanes’ third-round pick this year (91st overall) to select 6-7, 236-pound defenseman Taige Harding, a native of Scotland who is committed to Providence.
They added 6-4, 210-pound defenseman Ethan Del Mastro in the fourth round (105th overall) and 6-4, 205-pound center Ilya Safonov — the Russian player involved in the collision in which Kirby Dach suffered a broken wrist during the world junior championships in December — in the sixth round (172nd overall).
The Hawks also picked Swedish center Victor Stjernborg (fourth round, 108th overall), U.S. defenseman Connor Kelley (seventh round, 204th overall) — a teammate of Hawks prospect Wyatt Kaiser at Minnesota-Duluth — and Canadian center Jalen Luypen (seventh round, 216th overall).
Those players join first-round defenseman Nolan Allan, who was chosen 32nd overall Friday, in the Hawks’ eight-man draft class.