When the Team Canada takes the ice in the upcoming World Junior Championships, Kirby Dach will be donning the "C" as the Canadian team captain. Hockey Canada announced the decisions for the captain and assistant captains of the team Friday with an appearance by Connor McDavid.
This decision doesn't come as a surprise. At 19 years old, Kirby Dach has already played in 64 NHL games and has played well for that matter. The Chicago Blackhawks chose to speed up Dach's progression, bringing him up to the NHL after just three AHL games. He showed that he belongs and can play a full 200-foot game. And now it's obvious that he has leadership skills to match.
What This Means for Dach's Future
When the Blackhawks drafted Kirby Dach third overall in 2019, there was a collective groan let out by the team's fan base. Dach was not high on most draft boards, but the Blackhawks saw the potential and took a chance. Dach now has 23 points in his first 64 games, including another six points in nine playoff games. He played the fifth-most minutes on the team during the playoffs and the second-most by a forward. Jeremy Colliton deployed him in every situation and Dach excelled in every aspect of the game.
Jonathan Toews still has three years left on his contract and will continue to serve as the Blackhawks' captain. But when the team has to inevitability part ways with Toews, Kirby Dach will be mature enough and ready to take over as captain. This decision by Hockey Canada is validation that the Blackhawks' decision to draft Dach third overall was the right choice and he will only continue to get better.