Dach of Blackhawks leaves World Juniors game after collision


Kirby Dach, a center for the Chicago Blackhawks, left in the third period of Canada’s pretournament 1-0 win against Russia in the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Wednesday.

“We’ll need an X-ray,” Canada coach Andre Tourigny said of Dach. “He’ll have an X-ray later on, we’ll have an update after that.”

The 19-year-old left the game after colliding with Russia forward Ilya Safonov in the neutral zone with 12:06 remaining in the third period. Dach immediately took the glove off his right hand and skated to the bench before going to the locker room.

Dach was named Canada’s captain on Dec. 18.

“He’s definitely a really special player, important guy in the locker room,” Canada defenseman Jamie Drysdale said. “Anytime you see a player come off like that, you don’t like to see it. He’s one of your teammates, one of your brothers. I hope all is good with him and I guess we’ll see what happens.”

Selected by the Blackhawks with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Dach scored 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 64 regular-season games and six points (one goal, five assists) in nine postseason games last season.

Dach averaged 19:24 of ice time per game in the postseason, fifth on the Blackhawks behind defenseman Duncan Keith (25:27), forward Patrick Kane (22:30) and defensemen Connor Murphy (22:13) and Calvin de Haan (20:32). The Blackhawks expect Dach to take a bigger step when the 2020-21 regular season starts on Jan. 13.

“Kirby showed last year he has a real detail to his game and a willingness to play both ways,” Blackhawks president of hockey operations/general manager Stan Bowman said on Oct. 28. “He’s a talented offensive player. He showed it in flashes, but I give him credit for not doing what most young guys do. They want to get those points, so they sort of abandon the defensive side or the hard work down low in their own end to make sure they don’t get scored on. He was pretty reliable in that for a 19-year-old player.

“You saw him on the power play in the playoffs, he hadn’t been on the power play much at all during the season, so that’s a way to get your offensive game going. And obviously, he was on a line with [Alex] DeBrincat and Patrick Kane for the end of the season there. He didn’t play with those guys much during the year, he was down the lineup. So, as he plays with better, more offensive linemates, his production will pick up.”

The 2021 WJC is scheduled to be held Dec. 25-Jan. 5 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, with no fans in attendance and in a secure zone similar to what the NHL used for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. All games will be broadcast on NHL Network in the United States and on TSN and RDS in Canada.

Canada is scheduled to play its first game against Germany on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN).

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