December 28: The prognosis is in and the news isn’t great for the Blackhawks and their fans. Chicago has announced that Dach has undergone surgery on his fractured right wrist and the timeline for recovery is four to five months. According to the NHL’s revised 2020-21 schedule, only the earliest possible return would allow Dach to play in the regular season and even a potential playoff run might be out of the question if there are any delays to his recovery. Most likely, the Blackhawks will be without their young standout this season.
December 24, 11:30am: McKenzie adds to his report, tweeting that Dach suffered a fracture but more testing will be needed before deciding if surgery is needed. Speculating on the length of time Dach will miss, McKenzie suggests that a 4-8 week timeline would be for a normal fracture but if surgery is required it could be “considerably longer.”
December 24, 9:30am: Team Canada has lost its captain. The Chicago Blackhawks may have lost their young star. After taking an awkward hit yesterday during a pre-tournament game, Kirby Dach has been ruled out for the World Junior Championship according to Bob McKenzie of TSN. Though team doctors are still assessing the injury and the team has not yet officially announced it, McKenzie tweets that not only will he miss the WJC but Dach is also expected to miss NHL time.
This is a worst-case scenario for everyone involved. Team Canada has enough forward power to replace Dach and still be a favorite, but this is exactly the reason that some teams don’t want their top prospects going to an international tournament so close to the NHL season. Dach of course missed the event last year because he was already a full-time roster piece for the Blackhawks, but the team gave him the chance to go this year and wear the “C” for his country. Now, not only will Dach not get to play in a WJC, but he is going to miss some of his sophomore NHL season as well.
Blackhawks camp starts in just over a week, with games scheduled to start in three weeks’ time. We’ll have to wait and see how long Dach is out for, but given how effective he was in the postseason bubble, this is a big blow for Chicago. As an 18-year-old rookie, Dach scored 23 points in 64 games for the Blackhawks last season but came into the bubble even better, recording six points and generally looking like one of the most dangerous players on the ice in Chicago’s nine games.
Of course, the Blackhawks also announced that Alexander Nylander would miss several months yesterday after knee surgery, meaning two of the team’s young forwards are out for the time being.