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BLOG: Dach Returns to Ice as Training Camp Enters Second Week

No. 3 overall pick has missed start of camp in concussion protocol following Traverse City Prospect Tournament

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc /

The Blackhawks got some good news on the injury front when Kirby Dach took the ice for individual drills Friday at Fifth Third Arena.

The No. 3 overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft had been in concussion protocol since the Blackhawks prospects returned from the 2019 Traverse City Prospect Tournament on Sept. 10.

While the first group of Blackhawks practiced on Friday, Dach participated in light drills on an adjacent rink with assistant strength and conditioning coach Patrick Becker. The injury has held Dach out of the opening week of camp in his bid to make the Opening Night roster for the 2019-20 season.

"(It was) good that he could get out there," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "I'm not going to get too excited about it but it's not a bad thing. We'll see how the next little while plays out."

Video: Kirby Dach hits the ice

When asked if Dach was still in the running to make the Blackhawks out of training camp, Colliton said, "We want to get him available first and then we'll think about those things."

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks trimmed their roster to 45 players, including 26 forwards, 14 defensemen and five goaltenders. Among the cuts Friday was NHL veteran Kris Versteeg. The 33-year-old, who signed a one-year, AHL contract in April, was re-assigned to the IceHogs.

"(Versteeg) has got a ton of experience and obviously he's done very well in this organization," Colliton said. "It was great to have him back. He's got to get back up to speed - it's been a while since he's been to an NHL camp and played NHL games. It was great to have him here so he can be on the same page with what we're trying to do tactically and obviously he's going to be a big part of Rockford and then it's up to him. We'll see how he performs as the year goes on. (He's got a) big personality and that's something that we talked about adding to our team. We like that. It's a long year so he's got a lot of energy and … he's very well-liked. So it's good to have him in the organization."

Video: Colliton on Kirby Dach

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