Fantasy Summary

If he ever makes the NHL, it will be a bottom-pairing defenseman


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September 2020- Birks spent all of last year in the ECHL, playing for Rapid City. While his penalty numbers were one of the highest on the team, Birks point totals were not. With his contract with Arizona now expiring, it seems doubtful they resign him. Keith Duggan

June 2019 – Birks was dealt to Arizona with Phil Kessel and a fourth-round pick for LW Alex Galchenyuk and D prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph. Birks might have a better chance at cracking the Coyotes’ lineup, but he must dramatically raise his game. Mark Allan

May 2019 – Getting into just one AHL game, Birks posted a goal and 13 helpers for the Wheeling Nailers. Toiling in the ECHL won’t advance his hopes of an NHL career, and the clock is beginning to tick for the 23-year-old. The 6-2, 201-pounder has size and a righthand shot to his credit but the final campaign on his entry-level deal had better be a good one. Mark Allan

December 2018 – Continuing an undistinguished pro career, Birks has four assists after 15 games with the Wheeling Nailers. Sixteen PIMs represent his calling card, which might prolong his viability in the ECHL. Mark Allan

October 2018 – After making the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opening roster but not playing in the team’s AHL opener, the parent club demoted Birks to the ECHL. He went pointless in his debut with the Wheeling Nailers. The 23-year-old has a steep uphill climb to reach the NHL. Mark Allan

September 2018 – The strapping blueliner will have a chance to add to his one-game AHL resume after being assigned to Wilkes-Barre Scranton as Pittsburgh reduced its training camp roster to 45. Birks has to either rebuild his tattered reputation as an offensive defenseman or find other ways to make himself useful. Mark Allan

May 2018 – Coming off the best production of his three seasons at Michigan Tech (a modest 18 points in 44 games), Birks didn’t do much in his AHL amateur tryout deal, going pointless in only one game. His two-year, entry-level contract begins with the 2018-19 season, which the 22-year-old will surely play in the AHL. At one time considered an offensive blueliner, Birks will likely have to make the bigs as a responsible, physical, defensive presence. Mark Allan

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 Upside 1.5
NHL Certainty 0.5
Country CAN
Position D
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth August 29, 1995
Height 6‘2”
Weight 201 lbs
Drafted 2013 Round 6; Overall: 164


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2009-2010 Williams Lake Timberwolves U15CarBHL- - -- -|        
 2010-2011 Williams Lake Timberwolves U18A1U18 A112 0 11 14|        
 2011-2012 Creston Valley Thunder CatsKIJHL47 3 2124 72|Playoffs6 0 11 20 
  Trail Smoke EatersBCHL10 0 00 12|        
 2012-2013 Merritt Centennials BCHL52 5 1520 28|Playoffs5 0 11
 2013-2014 Merritt Centennials BCHL50 4 1721 57|Playoffs1 0 00
  Canada West U19WJAC-194 0 22 4|        
 2014-2015 Michigan TechNCAA0 0 00 0|        
 2015-2016 Michigan TechNCAA31 0 33 16|        
 2016-2017 Michigan TechNCAA42 2 79 26|        
 2017-2018 Michigan TechNCAA44 5 1318 26|        
  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsAHL1 0 00 0|        
 2018-2019 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsAHL1 0 00 0|        
  Wheeling NailersECHL65 1 1314 64|        
 2019-2020 Rapid City RushECHL52 3 710 70|        
 2020-2021 Wheeling NailersECHL6 0 00 4|