Then, the Canadiens used that 13th pick and packaged it with the 66th overall pick to acquire Dach.
Dach, 21, is three years into his NHL career after being drafted third overall by Chicago in 2019. Injuries have held him back from reaching his full potential with the club — a broken wrist suffered during an exhibition game ahead of the 2021 world juniors while captaining Team Canada saw him unable to build on his solid rookie season, suiting up for just 18 games in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 NHL campaign.
The Alberta native was expected to be part of Chicago’s next wave of offensive talent, but the team’s extensive rebuild has seen them busy trading talent in an effort to stock up on picks and prospects — including two picks in the first round of this year’s draft.
Earlier on Thursday, Chicago sent forward Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for three draft picks, including the seventh overall selection with which they drafted defenceman Kevin Korchinski.
Dach will be a restricted free agent when the new league year opens next week.
The Canadiens, in addition to hosting this year’s draft, have been the stars of the draft show Thursday night. Shortly after drafting Juraj Slafkovský first overall in front of the home crowd, making the Slovakian winger the newest star down the middle of the lineup, they landed Dach to further bolster the position behind third-year forward Nick Suzuki.
In 152 career NHL regular season games, Dach has 19 goals and 59 points. A brief post-season run in the 2020 bubble as a rookie saw him tally six points in nine games.
In order to land what they hope will be another star centreman of the future, the Canadiens had to deal away one of their most promising pieces on the blue line in Romanov. The 22-year-old is coming off his second season manning the blue line in Montreal — a season that saw much growth, with a heavier workload in the wake of losing Shea Weber. Romanov brings size and physicality to Long Island, where the Islanders could be bracing for some roster overhaul on defence.
Montreal selected Romanov in the second round (38th overall) in 2018.