EDMONTON – Canadian captain Kirby Dach will miss the world junior hockey championship after suffering a wrist injury in a pre-tournament game against Russia on Wednesday night.
Hockey Canada said Thursday the Blackhawks prospect will return to Chicago to undergo further examination by team doctors.
“Kirby was excited to represent Canada and captain our team at the 2021 IIHF world junior championship, and our players, coaches and staff are all disappointed he will not be able to participate this year,” Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams with Hockey Canada, said in a statement.
“We recognize Kirby’s commitment and leadership and know how eager he was for the opportunity to proudly represent his country at the world juniors. He was dedicated to his role as captain and contributing to defending our gold medal. We wish Kirby the best and hope for a quick recovery as he looks ahead to getting back on the ice with the Blackhawks.”
Dach, 19, was injured on what seemed like a harmless bodycheck in the neutral zone in the third period. After the hit, he pulled off his glove, skated off the ice and went directly to the locker-room area.
Canadian coach Andre Tourigny did not have details on Dach’s injury after the game. He said an update would be provided once X-ray results were available.
The third overall pick by Chicago in the 2019 NHL draft, Dach cracked the Blackhawks’ roster last season and had eight goals and 15 assists in 64 games.
Dach was set to make his first appearance for Canada at the world juniors as he was not loaned to the team when the Canadians captured gold last year in the Czech Republic.
The native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., won a gold medal with Canada’s under-18 team at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Canada is set to open the world juniors Saturday against Germany, which will be missing nine players because of COVID-19 protocols.
The event starts Friday with three games.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 24, 2020.