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Why Kirby Dach removed social media from phone


When you're a top pick in an NHL Draft, naturally there's going to be pressure to live up to those expectations. Internally is one thing. Externally is another.

For example, nobody puts more pressure on Kirby Dach than Kirby Dach himself. He's confident he can be a great player but gets frustrated when he's not living up to his own high standards, perhaps to a fault.

But when you mix in the fact he was taken No. 3 overall by an Original Six franchise that has a passionate fanbase, it's hard to block out the noise. In an effort to do so, however, Dach revealed on Saturday that he removed social media from his phone at the end of December to try staying away from it all.

"I just felt like it was something I wanted to try and I started having good games after," Dach said "After that initial week of deleting it you kind of stop going on your phone as much. I got the screen time down, which was good."

Mentally, Dach said he's seeing the benefits of it.

"It's a nice break," Dach said. "Obviously you miss out on news, what's going on and stuff cause that's how you get it nowadays but I've enjoyed it. I like the break from it."

Blackhawks interim head coach Derek King admitted he didn't have to worry about social media as a player. Sometimes he would read the newspaper, but it wasn't too difficult to ignore.

That's not the case nowadays.

"This day and age, they read into it too much," King said. "I used to read the papers a little bit the next day after a game. I only read it after I scored a couple goals cause if you didn't, there was a little bit of negativity: 'King's got to wake up, he's got to be better.' And it can get to you a little bit.

"And then you get those fans that are yapping at you when you're coming off the ice or in the parking lot, but this social media stuff is taking it to another level. I can see it bothering kids, especially young kids. Maybe it's a smart move, more guys should do it, just kind of put their social media stuff on pause during the season."

Perhaps one of the reasons why it feels like Dach has more weight on his shoulders than anybody from the 2019 class is because the draft really did start with the Blackhawks' pick. Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko were the slam-dunk choices for No. 1 and No. 2. There was no debate.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks had a pool of players to choose from at No. 3. There were legitimately around eight or nine players that could've been taken in that spot and nobody would've blinked.

So of course you want to repay the franchise by proving to them that they made the right choice over the rest. And you'll do anything it takes to do that, even if it's adjusting your game to carve out a bigger role in different ways, whether it's producing on offense or becoming a dependable two-way, shutdown-type-player.

"You look around the league, the Aleksander Barkov's, Patrice Bergeron's, Sean Couturier's, Ryan Getzlaf, Mark Scheifele, those types of players," Dach said. "Obviously they're all putting up numbers and they're in their own role and in their primes. I'm freshly 21 and trying to find my own groove still.

"It's been an up-and-down three years. Those guys that are so great at every little detail of the game. That's where I want to get my game to, not necessarily putting up 100 points every year but being able to shut down other lines and have that challenge each and every night. I thrive off that."

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