The Chicago Blackhawks had to send out right wing Brandon Saad this summer as a pending RFA, but got another young forward in return — Marko Dano was packaged to the Blackhawks from the Columbus Blue Jackets, and it didn’t take him long to work his way from the Rockford Ice Hogs to the Blackhawks roster proper.
He’ll be held out of Friday night’s game for illness, though — leaving the Blackhawks without the Austrian-born forward for their contest against the Pacific Division’s Calgary Flames as he works to adjust to Chicago’s lineup.
Drafted in the first round by the Blue Jackets 27th overall, Dano has nine goals and 23 points across his first 43 regular season NHL games. A hot streak for the Metropolitan Division club late in their season last year, the 20 year old Dano finished a 35 game stint in Columbus with eight goals and 21 points; although there was plenty of room for regression, the Blackhawks seemed to like his game enough to bring him with Artem Anisimov in the swap that sent Saad back out East.
Hopefully, he won’t spend much time out of the lineup; while every team sees players miss time for illness, there doesn’t seem to be the risk of anything like mumps spreading around this year. Dano’s potential as a two way forward has been well documented — last season, he was on Today’s Slapshot’s sophomores to watch list, and he’s been noticed this year as well — so missed time is missed opportunities to hit the ground running in his second year of NHL play.
Without Dano in the lineup, though, the Blackhawks certainly won’t be short on exciting youth talent; even without the goal and assist in eight games that Dano has provided this year, there’s phenom rookie Artemi Panarin (21 points in 19 games) and Blackhawks sophomore Teuvo Teravainen, who has nine points in eighteen games and has appeared in all but one of Chicago’s games so far this campaign.
In addition to the confirmation that Dano is out ill, backup Scott Darling has been given the nod for tonight. He’ll bring a .902 raw save percentage and a 2-2-0 record to the lineup across the ice from Calgary’s starter, Karri Ramo.