Blackhawks say rookie Dach not going anywhere
Chicago Blackhawks first-round draft pick Kirby Dach will not be returned to his junior team and is expected to remain in the NHL all season, coach Jeremy Colliton said Wednesday. Dach, the third overall pick in the 2019 draft, was told by Colliton and general manager Stan Bowman on Tuesday that he won't return to his junior team in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The expectation is he will remain with Chicago all season.
"He's shown he can help us, and he's only going to get better," Colliton told media members after practice on Wednesday. "I think the player he is now, there's likely going to be a huge improvement as the year goes on, and the player (he is) in February I'm sure is going to be an impact player for us." The 18-year-old Dach, a 6-foot-4 forward, has a goal and an assist in six games. He has averaged 11:59 of ice time.
The decision to keep Dach more than nine games means his entry-level contract with the Blackhawks will take effect this season. Should he play 40 games, that would count as an official full season and put Dach a year closer to unrestricted free agency. "It's thrilling and exciting for me," Dach told reporters in Los Angeles, where the Blackhawks will play the Kings on Saturday. "It's something I've dreamed of my whole life. I came into camp wanting to make this team, and to finally get that recognition from Jeremy and the management group is awesome, and I'm thrilled to be here."
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