One week from now, the Kelowna Rockets will open their 2021-22 WHL season with a road game.
Time will tell if their latest acquisition will be in Victoria when they take on the Royals on Oct. 8.
On Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced that second-round draft pick Colton Dach signed to a three-year, entry-level contract that will pay the 6-foot-4 forward $870,000 a season.
Three days earlier, the Rockets acquired Dach, 18, from the Saskatoon Blades in an exchange that saw Kelowna trade centre Trevor Wong.
Last season with the Blades, Dach had 11 goals and 20 points in 20 games. He’s also the younger brother of Chicago Blackhawks centre Kirby Dach, 20.
Interestingly, Chicago selected Colton Dach in this year’s entry draft at 62nd overall. He’s currently in Chicago attending training camp.
Kirby Dach, who made Chicago’s roster as an 18-year-old, was drafted third overall in 2019.
The NHL season starts Tuesday, Oct. 12, and Chicago still has five exhibition games remaining.
The Rockets say they expect Colton Dach back next week sometime, which means he could be in Kelowna colours for their opening game.
In a profile on the team’s website, Dach said one of his neighbours was former Rocket Tyson Baillie, and that Baillie once gave him and his brother Kirby each a Kelowna Rockets jersey.
In trading for Dach, Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton said he wanted to upgrade his team’s size at centre.
“Colton is going to bring some things to our team that are going to be important to us,” said Hamilton, whose team went 2-2 in exhibition play.
“He shoots the puck well, I think he’s going to mature a lot as a player here now that he has an NHL training camp under his belt. We’re going to expect him to come in here and have a leadership role with our group in the near future.”