Team Canada names Kirby Dach captain of Junior World

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EDMONTON – Kirby Dach has been named captain of the Canadian team for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Chicago Blackhawks forward leads a leadership group that also includes alternates Bowen Byram and Dylan Cozens, Hockey Canada announced Friday.

Dach, who was loaned to the national program for the Under-20 tournament by his NHL club while the 2020-21 season has yet to begin, will make his junior world debut when the event kicks off next week. in Edmonton.

The Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. Native was expected to be part of the Canadian contingent that won gold in the Czech Republic last year, but instead he stuck with the Blackhawks.

Dach had scored eight goals and 23 points in 64 games for Chicago in 2019-2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic imposed a schedule suspension in March. The No.3 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft has scored once and added five assists in nine games during the league’s summer resumption.

Byram and Cozens are among six returning players from Canada’s 2020 roster.

Cozens, who skated between Dach and Jack Quinn on the front row, scored two goals and nine points in seven games in last year’s tournament, while Byram had two assists as part of the nation’s defense corps .

A product of Cranbrook, C.

Cozens, who is of Whitehorse, had 38 goals and 85 points in 51 games for the WHL Lethbridge Hurricanes last season. He was selected seventh overall by the Buffalo Sabers in 2019.

This year’s edition of the World Junior Championships is set to begin on December 25, with Canada scheduled to open Boxing Day against Germany.

The tournament will take place in a fanless bubble at Rogers Place in Edmonton in hopes of keeping the coronavirus out, but the International Ice Hockey Federation announced earlier on Friday that eight players from the German squad and two Swedish staff had tested positive.

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