Colton Dach has become a local celebrity.
The former Fort Saskatchewan Ranger and now Canadian World Junior gold medalist, was at the JRC on Saturday (Jan. 7) to take in a U18 AAA Rangers game.
Dach took part in a ceremonial face-off before the game and hung out with eager fans in the concourse, signing autographs and taking photos. Some were even lucky enough to hold Dach’s gold medal.
It was a moment that Dach was happy to be a part of.
"I was in their shoes one day," said Dach. "It's awesome to come back here to look at how everything is going and see these kids."
A trio of kids who got to meet Dach were very excited about the opportunity.
"[Holding the medal] was amazing," said Easton Riemersma
"It felt pretty good!" said Owen Riemersma
"I never thought I would see a Team Canada player in person," said Ryder Reist.
Canada won the tournament on Thursday in overtime against Czechia in Halifax.
The golden goal came off the stick of a former Sherwood Park Crusader, Dylan Guenther.
"I was pretty excited when I saw the 2-on-1 chance and I kind of just sprinted to the ice and I tried to get out there as quickly as possible to celebrate with the guys," said Dach.
Dach, unfortunately, wasn't playing in that game as he suffered a separated shoulder in a New Year's Eve matchup against Sweden.
"It was a fluky thing," said Dach. "I've made that same hit 10 seconds before I finished that one, but anything can happen in hockey."
Colton is now the first Dach brother to hold the gold, with his brother Kirby getting a silver in 2020.
"That's one on my side for sure," said Dach. "But I'm pretty sure [Kirby] has got a few more up on me."
Dach will now make his way to Chicago to get his injury revaluated before making his way to his new WHL home in Seattle.