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Blackhawks prospect Colton Dach exits World Juniors game with injury

Let’s get 2022 over with already. Jeez.

Canada v Sweden: Group A - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Dach family may need to boycott the World Juniors for the rest of their lives.

On Saturday night, during Canada’s final group stage game against Sweden, Colton Dach made what appeared to be a routine hit on the side boards but immediately crumbled to the ice in obvious pain.

Dach joined the Blackhawks organization as a second-round pick (62nd overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft, later signing his entry-level contract in October of that year.

Here’s video of the incident, which happened during the third period:

There’s been no update to Dach’s status as of this writing, but the visuals — and audio of Dach’s screams — do not inspire any optimism. In three games at the World Juniors, Dach had notched a pair of assists while mostly skating on Canada’s fourth line. In 14 games with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, Dach had 17 points (9 G, 8 A). But his arrival to Kelowna was delayed by a concussion sustained during training camp with the Blackhawks and he also served a one-game suspension in November.

The injury on New Year’s Eve evoked memories of what happened to another member of the Dach family just before Christmas in 2020. Kirby Dach — Colton’s older brother — fractured his right wrist during a pre-tournament game against Russia:

That injury was part of a rough tenure for Kirby Dach in Chicago, which started with him being selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and ended with him being traded to the Montreal Canadiens last summer.

The player who collided with Kirby Dach in that video, by the way, is Ilya Safonov, who joined the Blackhawks as a sixth-round pick (172nd overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft. Safonov currently has 21 points (11 G, 10 A) in 43 games for Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL.

[SUNDAY UPDATE] Dach has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament, according to Team Canada: