Feature Story: Central Division Draft Grades

Sam Stern




Chicago Blackhawks




Round 1, pick 3: Kirby Dach, C

Round 2, pick 42: Alex Vlasic, D

Round 4, pick 105: Michal Teply, RW/LW

Round 4, pick 123: Antti Saarela, C

Round 6, pick 167: Dominic Basse, G

Round 7, pick 194: Cole Moberg, D


Day 1 Grade: B

Day 2 Grade: B-


Day One:


Kirby Dach:


I’m generally a big fan of swinging on talent, but this early? I’m not so sure. Dach certainly has high-end skill, but in my mind, there are some very serious questions that surround him. When he is fully engaged, Dach uses his massive frame in conjunction with elite vision, hands and passing ability. He’s capable of dominating play, in fact, when Dach is on the pace of play itself shifts. He possesses a rare combination of game-breaking skills and size that is ever-so coveted by NHL teams. The big problem with Dach is consistency. Sometimes that feels like a cop-out when evaluating a prospect, but in this case I feel it’s a very real concern. When Dach is off he looks utterly disinterested, confused and slow. If this were one or two games I’d write it off as an anomaly, but it isn’t. This happens often enough that I had Dach ranked 10th. 


Day Two Highlights:


Michal Teply:


There was a lot of value in landing Teply in the fourth round. He brings a really nice blend of power and skill in his game. Teply can be an absolute bull with the puck. If he wants to get to the front of the net he’s going to get there and he has the skill with the puck to fi