Blackhawks recall rookie center Kirby Dach from conditioning stint after three AHL appearances

Dach registered zero points and seven shots on goal with the Rockford IceHogs.

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Kirby Dach, the Blackhawks’ 2019 first-round pick, played three games for the Rockford IceHogs on his conditioning stint.

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Center Kirby Dach’s conditioning stint in the American Hockey League could have lasted 14 days.

But after only six, the Blackhawks apparently had seen enough of him in the minors to call him up from Rockford after their 3-2 overtime victory Friday against the Blue Jackets and the IceHogs’ 3-2 victory Friday against the Wolves.

Dach, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft in June, didn’t have a sensational three-game AHL stint in terms of on-paper production, registering seven shots on goal and zero points. But he successfully was eased back into game action after a concussion suffered in the preseason and introduced to the intensity of pro hockey, which were the primary goals all along.

It will be fascinating to see how Dach, 18, slots into the Hawks’ lineup moving forward, provided he sticks with the NHL roster. He can make up to nine NHL appearances before being sent back to his Canadian junior team (if the Hawks wish to slide his three-year entry-level contract forward a year), but he also could contend for a permanent role on the NHL roster.

The Hawks will hold an optional practice Saturday that should reveal more about their plans for Dach.

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