by Scott King
Center Kirby Dach, the Blackhawks’ No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft, missed the first day of training camp and is under concussion protocol.
The Hawks announced the 18-year-old NHL hopeful’s status shortly after camp kicked off.
“Well, when you have a concussion, the timing on those we don’t really know,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said following group one’s season on Friday. “It could be short, it could be a day or two, it could be longer. We don’t know on that, so that’s why we don’t put a timeline on it.
“It’s too bad. Obviously I thought he played well a couple games (in the NHL’s rookie tournament last week). But this is part of it and we don’t need to make any determinations today. It’s the first day of camp, so we’ll just let that play out.”
Dach (6-foot-4, 197 pounds) can play in nine NHL games before burning the first year of his contract if he returns and makes the roster out of camp. If he doesn’t start in Chicago, he’ll return to the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League.
Kirby, the Blackhawks’ highest draft pick since Patrick Kane went No. 1 in 2007, had 73 points (25 goals, 48 assists) in 62 games with the Blades last season.
“He’s a big, strong kid,” Kane said. “I think he can translate pretty well just with his body to the NHL game. The position he’s in you don’t really want to rush him back or have him force anything.
“So take a couple days, get right or however long it is… I can even remember Panarin, his first year he came in, he missed a lot of time. He played the last preseason game and was fine. So I think everybody’s a little bit different.”
Dach, a native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, displayed a strong two-way game and high-end playmaking ability in the WHL prior to being drafted.
Defenseman Calvin de Haan is expected to miss two to three weeks with a groin strain and shoulder surgery recovery. Forward Philipp Kurashev also missed the first session and is day-to-day with a left knee/shoulder contusion.
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