Dane Birks

by Mark Allan on March 31, 2018

 

Dane Birks, D

Shoots: R

Height: 6-3

Weight: 183

Born: 1995-08-29

Hometown: Williams Lake, BC

Drafted: 2013 by Pittsburgh, 164th Overall

 

Observations:

March 2018 – Coming off his best stats in three Michigan Tech seasons, Birks inked a two-year, entry-level contract ($800,000 AAV) with Pittsburgh. As is common these days with newly signed collegiate players (especially when signed by cap-strapped NHL teams), the 22-year-old will begin his pro career with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on an AHL amateur tryout deal before his big-league contract kicks in for 2018-19. The righthand-shooting blueliner improved his college numbers each season, although five goals and 18 points in 44 games in his final one will not drop any jaws. A total of plus-22 during the past two campaigns hints at some defensive responsibility. His most impressive stats are 6-2, 200 pounds. Mark Allan

December 2017 – In only 17 games in his third season for Michigan Tech, the right-shooting defenseman already has nine points, equaling his total from 42 games in 2016-17. Birks, who lost his freshman campaign due to scholastic shortcomings, appears to be making up for lost time. After finishing plus-12 last season, he’s already plus-3, which bodes well for any pro hockey aspirations he might have. Mark Allan

 

October 2017 – Birks is making slow but steady progress after missing his freshman season at Michigan Tech due to scholastic shortcomings. Not expected to be a prolific pro scorer, the 22-year-old nonetheless has two goals and two assists in his first seven 2017-18 NCAA games, following three- and nine-point campaigns. Assuming he gets a pro contract, the sixth-rounder would likely face a lengthy minor-league apprenticeship. Mark Allan

 

June 2017 – Birks is progressing slowly after not playing hockey in his first season at Michigan Tech due to scholastic shortcomings. After three assists in 31 games last season, he had two goals and seven helpers in 42 games. Once regarded as an offensive back-ender, he’s on his way to establishing another kind of reputation. Mark Allan

January 2017 – Judging from his two NCAA seasons with Michigan Tech, it's hard to tell Birks was once considered an offensive defenseman. While he has just six points in 25 games, he is plus-8, although he's a long way from a shot at the NHL. Mark Allan

October 2016 – It's early, but Birks is off to a good start at the NCAA's Michigan Tech with two assists in two games. Mark Allan

June 2016 – A lackluster season in which Birks had just three assists in 31 games for Michigan Tech was not the bounceback he or the Penguins hoped for after he was disqualified for his entire freshman season for scholastic shortcomings. Birks needs to start impressing Pittsburgh scouts, and soon if he hopes to have a hockey career. Mark Allan

November 2015 – After missing his entire rookie season at Michigan Tech due to scholastic shortcomings, the offensive defenseman has only two assists in seven games for the Huskies. At this point, his hockey prospects are not appreciably better than his academic ones. Mark Allan

August 2015 – Majoring in sports and fitness management, Birks was ineligible to play his freshman season at Michigan Tech for academic reasons. Missing an entire season has obviously been a serious setback to his hockey development. It's not clear at this point if he intends to stick with the college route. Mark Allan

March 2013 – Dane Birks is an offensively inclined defenseman skating for the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL. In the 2012-2013 season he put up five goals and 15 assists through 52 games. Birks has good skating, and puck-moving abilities. He has a heavy shot that he uses frequently.

 

Fantasy Outlook: D

Depth defenseman.

 

Footage: Coming Soon

 

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