The centerpiece of the Blackhawks’ youth movement likely will miss most or all of the 2021 season.
The Hawks announced center Kirby Dach had wrist surgery Monday and will be out for four to five months while recovering.
Dach suffered a fractured right wrist on an innocent-looking hit during an exhibition game between Canada and Russia last week at the world junior championships.
He quickly was ruled out for the rest of the tournament and returned to Chicago for further testing, indicating the issue might be serious. Still, the news Monday represents the worst-case scenario.
Dach’s development into the future first-line center the Hawks projected him to be when selecting him third overall in 2019 — a role he looked on track to achieve during his impressive rookie season — now faces a huge hurdle.
Moreover, the goal of the Hawks’ 2021 season — which general manager Stan Bowman suggested in October would be focused on developing the team’s next generation of talent — has suffered a setback.
Dach will join wing Alex Nylander, who will miss four to six months after having knee surgery last week, on the injured list when on-ice training-camp sessions begin next week.