Grading Kirby Dach's season

Kirby Dach was poised for a big season; in which he solidified himself as the Habs number two centre, but it didn't go to plan.
Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

The biggest question mark for the Montreal Canadiens this season is how different would things have looked, should Kirby Dach have been healthy?

It is certainly difficult to grade Dach's season because it lasted less than two games. During the season's second outing, Connor Bedard's first clash with the Habs, Dach's season was ended by former Habs Jarred Tinordi, after an awkward hit along the boards. Unfortunately, Dach had to go back to rehabbing an injury, rather than showing the Bell Centre faithful what Kent Hughes envisioned when he acquired the 23-year-old former third overall pick.

The intriguing thing about Dach is that he was selected in the same draft as Cole Caufield and Alex Newhook, both players who have yet to reach their ceiling. It's a bit worrying that Dach's injury troubles can't seem to be shaken, but his most recent injury was a freak accident. Should he prove able to stay healthy, he will provide a huge spark for the Habs top six.

In just 58 games during his first season with the club, Dach managed 38 points, showing off his silky puckhandling skills and brilliant speed through the neutral zone. Having him supporting Nick Suzuki on the top line would balance the offence and elevate the Habs to the next level, which could be enough to clinch a wildcard spot. Configuring a solid second line will be important and with Dach down the middle, that is a good starting piece.

Because Dach didn't play much, it is admittedly difficult to grade his season, as it wouldn't be fair to give him a grade for less than two games of work. If I had to, he did have a point-per-game season, which would signify a perfect season statistically. I will give him an A for his efforts and look ahead to the future, in pulling for him to have a big year.

Dach was acquired for a reason and the 23-year-old will definitely have something to prove this upcoming season. Especially after he saw the way Suzuki and Caufield carried the offense and Juraj Slafkovsky ascended to the top line. He is aware of the potential of the team and has to be champing at the bit to add his mark on the ice.