Blackhawks: Dach assigned to Team Canada for World Juniors
By Justin Klawans
The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships will commence on Dec. 25, and Team Canada named their 25-man roster on Friday. One prominent Chicago Blackhawks’ youngster made the cut.
Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach has been named to the Team Canada roster for the upcoming World Junior Championships. Not yet 19, Dach is part of a select group of young players that will play for junior hockey’s ultimate international prize.
The majority of the team’s roster is made up of players from either the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) or the NCAA, all of whom have either been drafted or are draft-eligible next year. Despite this, Dach is the only person on the team who is currently playing in the NHL. There were a number of NHL players that could’ve been picked to make the starting roster, so obviously, the front office staff of Team Canada thinks highly of Dach’s skills.
Born in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Dach came up through the junior ranks before playing three seasons for the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. His 2019 season with the Blades was a standout campaign, as he scored 25 goals and 48 assists for 73 points. This impressed the scouts, and he was ranked third among North American skaters going into the 2019 draft.
The Blackhawks selected Dach third overall, and the young gun looked to make an immediate impact with the team with his large frame and eyes for the net. His first season with the ‘Hawks saw him get 8 goals and 15 assists in the shortened season. While this is not record-breaking by any means, there is nowhere for Dach to go but up.
This will not be Dach’s first experience playing internationally. Before being drafted, he played in the 2018 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, an under-18 tournament held in Edmonton. Dach scored 7 points in five games played, and hopefully, he will be able to translate some of this experience to the ice at the World Juniors.
The ‘Hawks have had significant luck with World Junior rosters over the past few years. Per NHL.com correspondent Brandon Cain, Dach will be the third player in the past three years to play for Team Canada from the Blackhawks organization.
The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships will start off on Christmas Day and will be closed to the public to comply with Covid-19 guidelines. The tournament will reach its peak with the gold medal game on Tuesday, Jan. 5.