Blackhawks center Kirby Dach won’t be loaned by the Blackhawks to Canada for participation in the 2020 World Junior Championship tournament, Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton said Saturday. Bob McKenzie of TSN first reported the news.
The 18-year-old Dach, chosen No. 3 in the 2019 NHL draft, played for Canada at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, when it won gold. He had two goals and five assists in five games.
Dach has 10 points (five goals, five assists) while averaging 12:03 minutes of ice time in 26 NHL games.
Kirby Dach on not going to World Juniors: "Obviously World Juniors is pretty big in Canada and growing up it's always a thing you dream of doing. But at the same time, I've been focused on being with the Blackhawks and helping them win each and every night.” #Blackhawks— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) December 14, 2019
The Blackhawks could have opted to loan Dach to Canada for the upcoming tournament like they did last season with defenseman Henri Jokiharju to Finland’s team. Jokiharju won gold with Finland, but once he returned to Chicago he spent the majority of the second half of the season in the AHL and only played in six NHL games.
Blackhawks defenseman Adam Boqvist (Sweden) and prospects Michal Teply (Czech Republic), Antti Saarela (Finland) and Alec Regula (United States) could play at World Juniors, which is scheduled to be played Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in the Czech Republic.