Colton Dach’s ready to lead the Rockets
Using the word busy to describe Kelowna Rockets forward Colton Dach’s last few months would be an understatement.
After the 19-year-old’s season came to an end in May during the first round against the Seattle Thunderbirds, he reported directly to the Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate the Rockford Icehogs. While he didn’t appear in a game, he gained valuable experience being around the team.
In July the Blackhawks second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft attended their development camp and then reported directly to Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Summer Showcase in Calgary.
“It was pretty good,” said Dach about his summer. “Getting that phone call to go to a Hockey Canada event is always special. It was right after the Blackhawks development camp so it was good to get a little pep in the step and then go to World Junior camp.”
The Hlinka Gretzky selection camp was taking place at the same time, with both Andrew Cristall and Caden Price facing off against their teammate. The pair is eligible for the NHL Draft this upcoming June, both are projected to be high-end picks.
“We were there at the camps at the same time and played a game against each other. It was good to see them and talk to them, they know I’m always here for them if they have any questions or anything about the whole experience. They’re pretty bright kids, so they know what to do. I think it’s going to be a big year for both of them.”
He’s hopeful that his busy schedule will continue with an invite to the World Junior’s Camp in December.
Dach reported directly to Chicago at the end of August, missing the Rockets training camp. In his first rookie tournament game on September 16th he posted a goal before leaving the game early, the next day he was placed in concussion protocol.
By the end of September, he resumed skating and played in a preseason game on October 6th against the Minnesota Wild, posting five shots on net and three hits in just over 14 minutes of ice time. The following day he was returned to the Rockets for his 19-year-old season.
“Concussions are the kind of thing where you can’t really do much to get better at it, so you just stay positive and with the program. It was good to be back on the ice and play a game.
“Getting into that game was awesome, the guys did a really good job of making me feel comfortable and confident so it was good to get out there on the power play and shoot the puck a little bit to help me find my game.”
On Monday he was named the organization’s 27th captain.
Just like last season, Colton will make his season debut against the Victoria Royals on the Island. We asked him about his expectations heading into this year.
“I think first and foremost it’s to come in here and be a leader for the guys. Personally, I want to continue to work on my work ethic and develop so I can take that jump next year to the NHL.”
After leading the Rockets in scoring during the regular season, he was held pointless in the Rockets five playoff games posting a -8 plus/minus rating. He said that there’s unfinished business and he’s more than motivated to put the puck in the net.
“That definitely left a bad taste in my mouth, so I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice on Tuesday.”
Rockets fans first chance to see Dach at Prospera Place this season will be on Friday, October 14th when the Everett Silvertips visit. It’s also the Rockets Pink at the Rink game, with the team wearing speciality pink jerseys that will be auctioned off at the game with the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Single-game tickets for all Rockets home games are on sale at Select Your Tickets. Tickets can be purchased online through www.selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office, or by phone at 250-762-5050.