The worst has come to fruition for Team Canada. In the third period of their pre-tournament exhibition game, team captain Kirby Dach left the ice with an apparent wrist injury. This came after he attempted an awkward hit without properly extending his arms, which left him a bit tangled up. After receiving x-rays from the medical staff it was revealed that Dach sustained a fracture in his wrist. He will go back to Chicago to decide if surgery is required.
No official word yet from @HockeyCanada but Kirby Dach is out of the WJC because of the injury suffered yesterday. So Team 🇨🇦 loses its captain. CHI doctors still assessing Dach’s injury but he will be missing NHL time as well.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 24, 2020
Kirby Dach to Miss Time
This is the absolute worst-case scenario for Canada and the Chicago Blackhawks. Dach was the bonafide star of the 2021 World Junior Championship. As one of the only players to play in an NHL game so far, fans clearly thought he could carry Canada to an easy Gold Medal. Now, the team will need to rely on the rest of their lineup. Luckily, the rest of Team Canada is strong in their own right. Only one other player, Thomas Harley, has appeared in an NHL game. But the Canadian lineup is largely regarded as one of the best in the tournament. Their roster features an incredible 20 players who have been selected in the First Round of the NHL Draft. That’s an amazing stat. The only players who were selected in later rounds are the team’s three goalies.
Dach’s absence not only hurts Team Canada, but it’ll also likely affect how the Blackhawks start the year as well. Dach played a crucial role in Chicago’s lineup last season. He ultimately played in 64 games, finishing his rookie year with 23 points. This included eight goals. He also appeared in three AHL games but didn’t score.
Dach is a pivotal part of Chicago’s future. He was selected third overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, one spot ahead of Team Canada teammate Bowen Byram. At only 19, the Blackhawks have continuously touted their high hopes for the centreman. He’ll be a critical piece in the Blackhawks newly-announced rebuild, which will surely serve to add pieces to suit the highly-talented Dach.