Chicago Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach is headed to Red Deer to join 15 WHL players at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp. Hockey Canada announced the addition of the emerging NHL star on Thursday afternoon.
“Following discussions with the Chicago Blackhawks, we are pleased to add Kirby to the roster for Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp,” said Alan Millar, U20 lead for the Program of Excellence Manager Group, and General Manager for the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors. “We would like to thank Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks for their support of Canada’s National Junior Team, and wish to welcome Kirby to the roster.”
Dach was the third-overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft and the highest of 28 WHL players selected in Vancouver back in June 2019. After making the Blackhawks as an 18-year-old rookie, the product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., recorded 23 points (8G-15A) in 64 games, before adding another six points (1G-5A) in nine post-season contests.
“Obviously, as a kid growing up in Canada, I remember watching every World Juniors and dreaming of one day playing,” Dach said. “It’s an incredible opportunity, and I’m honoured to represent my country with the goal of winning a gold medal. To be a part of this is a dream come true.”
Dach joins Mitch Love, Head Coach of the Blades and Assistant Coach for Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team, as Saskatoon Blades connections within Canada’s U-20 group.
A 6-foot-4, 198-pound centre, Dach was originally the second-overall selection in the 2016 WHL Draft, chosen by the Saskatoon Blades. More than two seasons in the Bridge City, Dach played a starring role, breaking into the WHL with a 19-game showing in 2016-17 in which he collected 10 points (6G-4A). As a WHL rookie, he notched 46 points (7G-39A) in 52 contests during the 2017-18 season and followed up with 73 points (25G-48A) in 62 games during his NHL Draft year in 2018-19.
Aside from his impressive time in the WHL, Dach has starred for Canada internationally. He was a member of Canada Black at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he secured seven points (1G-6A) in five games. In 2018, he won a gold medal with Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, skating in five games and accruing seven points (2G-5A).
On Thursday afternoon, Hockey Canada announced 46 players set to attend Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp in Red Deer, running November 16 through December 13. The addition of Dach means 15 WHL players and one WHL Alumni will vie for the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton, scheduled to begin December 25.