by Scott King
Kirby Dach, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, is set to make his debut with the Blackhawks on Sunday against the Washington Capitals at the United Center.
“Yeah, it’s a pretty surreal feeling,” Dach said. “It’s kind of a whirlwind. You’re just kind of getting thrown in right away and you don’t really have time to react.
“You just kind of got to focus on the game and not really sit back and realize what’s going on. You’ve got to be pretty mentally dialed in and ready to play.”
Chicago recalled the Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta native from his conditioning assignment with the Rockford IceHogs (the Hawks’ AHL affiliate) on Friday. He skated in three games with the IceHogs after being activated from concussion protocol on Oct. 12.
“I think a lot of the things he was doing and his games in Rockford will transfer,” Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said. “Really liked his skating, he was competing, he was on the puck, won a lot of puck battles.
“He wasn’t able to come through offensively but he very well could have with the plays he made and he created chances. It’ll be good for him. He’ll be excited, have some energy and he’ll probably feed off that.”
The 18-year-old missed the Blackhawks’ training camp after suffering a concussion three days before at the NHL’s rookie tournament in Traverse City, MI.
“He’s a really skilled player,” Hawks winger Alex DeBrincat said. “I think that line should be pretty good. I think he’ll generate a lot of chances. I’m really excited to see him. I haven’t seen him in a game yet.”
It’s not certain where Dach will play in the lineup, but it’s possible Colliton could have him on the top line with players like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to see what he can do.
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