Chicago Blackhawks Loan Kirby Dach to Team Canada for 2021 World Juniors
By Kevin Braeunle
This morning the Chicago Blackhawks decided to loan Kirby Dach to team Canada for the upcoming 2021 World Juniors Championship.
Due to the pandemic, the World Junior Championships will be played in the Edmonton bubble used for this year’s Stanley Cup Final. Given the uncertainty surrounding the NHL season, it is very unlikely we see any overlap between the World Juniors tournament and NHL action. Therefore, the Chicago Blackhawks decided to loan Kirby Dach to Team Canada for this year’s tournament.
If the NHL somehow returns prior to the tournament, Dach will make his way back to the Blackhawks for the NHL season. At the moment, all signs point to Dach participating in the tournament for its duration. For team Canada, this is great news as they are now able to significantly bolster their lineup.
For Dach, this is another opportunity to prove he was the best choice at three in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. It’s also an opportunity to prove that his strong play in the 2020 NHL playoffs was no fluke.
Although many fans were sincerely encouraged by Dach’s recent play, some are still skeptical due to a shaky start to the season. While the sample size will be small, Dach has the opportunity to prove he can be consistent (a detractor noted by many scouts pre-draft) and gain confidence in his play. Given his experience, Dach should be leaned on heavily by team Canada. Thus, Dach can improve on his ability to play in all facets of the game, from the penalty kill to empty-net situations.
Not only will Dach get to develop all parts of his game but he will also likely take on a leadership position regardless of whether he gets a letter. Being both an NHLer and a 19-year-old player he will be a huge part of Team Canada’s success. Dach will likely get the opportunity to play with the recent first and second overall selections in the 2020 draft in both Alexis Lafrenière and Quinton Byfield, respectively. Given the talent level, this should be exciting for Blackhawk fans and hockey fans alike.
There will no doubt be plenty of eyes on this year’s tournament and its players. This is a great opportunity for Dach to develop, take on a leadership role, and just play some competitive hockey as we wait for the NHL season. I am excited to get the opportunity to watch him in a tournament that he should take by storm!