CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — The Blackhawks are excited about some of the young talent they’ve added to the organization the last couple years through the draft and through trades. They’re getting a good look at that talent this week at the team’s development camp in Chicago.
On Monday’s first day of the camp a lot of eyes were on this year’s top draft pick Kirby Dach. He was the third overall pick in the draft, but the 18 year old says he doesn’t feel pressure from the fans or within the organization to produce right away.
“I think the biggest pressure is going to come from myself,” said Dach. “I know that kind of stature aspect of being a third overall pick. There’s going to be some pressure behind it, but I kind of just flush it out and the only pressure that’s going to come for my performance is going to be from myself because I know how good I can be everyday, and I need to kind of strive for that excellence.”
Dach is from Pennsylvania. He says he had veterans on the team text him after he was drafted. They told him to reach out for anything that he needs. So far he has met only one of those veterans in person, and Dach came away a little star-struck.
“Today I kind of got to meet Jonathon Towes and I got a little bit tongue twisted and didn’t know what to say to him. It’s a guy I kind of looked up to when I was little. I mean I was 10 years old when they were in all the Stanley Cups, and so it’s (winning a Cup) something I want to do here, and it’s awesome to kind of be around those guys and learn from them.”
Alex Nylander is another prospect who is skating at the developmental camp this week. He had a bit of a different introduction to the Blackhawks’ organization. His dad Mike Nylander played for the Blackhawks from 1999-2003.
“He still loves this city and he loves coming back to Chicago and it’s only good things (he’s said) about this organization,” said Nylander of his father. “It’s a great group of people here and they really take good care of you.”
Nylander was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade this summer for defenseman Henri Jokiharju. Since that trade there has been some talk that Nylander might switch positions. He says he has no problem with that.
“I played both (wings) growing up and I also played a little bit center, so I’m comfortable wherever they put me. I mean, that’s a good thing to have and it doesn’t really matter where they put me.”
Nylander says he’s just happy to be in Chicago.
“Since I got the call to be here, they’ve been really good to me. Everything has been really positive and everybody’s really nice, and it’s only been really good. I’m happy to be part of this future, and I’m just working hard this summer and looking forward to training camp.”