Last Sunday, I listed the three players I was most excited to see in action at training camp for the Chicago Blackhawks, and No. 1 on that list was Marko Dano.
The shock of the Saad trade still hasn’t worn off for me just quite yet. Even when you watch the 2015 Stanley Cup Championship video, you see Ed Olczyk talk about how Saad would be a 30-goal scorer for the Chicago Blackhawks year in and year out. So, the fact the Saad is a Columbus Blue Jacket to start the very next season as the Blackhawks try to defend their Stanley Cup is still hard to comprehend.
That being said, Stan Bowman looks to have done about as good of a job as he possibly could under the circumstances. In the Saad trade he picked up a piece that has been missing for years in Chicago in a second-line center. Anisimov was signed to an extension and looks to be the long-term solution to a spot that has been filled in temporarily by the likes of Brandon Pirri, Michal Handzus and Brad Richards.
The bigger picture of the trade though has to be Dano. He’s the player that has the highest ceiling of all who came back to the Blackhawks the trade, and his NHL career is just in the infant stages. He showed a lot of flash in 35 NHL games last season, and when you look at his highlight reel there is a lot to like in his eight goals he scored.
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First, Dano isn’t afraid to go to the place where you score most NHL goals, and that’s right in front of the net. Dano scored three rebound goals just by putting his nose in a spot where most young players shy away from, in front of the net.
Dano also was very good at creating separation from the defense in the offensive zone to make room for a pass that would create scoring opportunities. This skill which Saad also had is probably the most exciting to see from Dano. If Joel Quenneville does what we expect and plays Dano with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, then Dano will have plenty of time to create separation and scoring chances game in and game out.
Here are all eight goals and one sweet move to set up a goal by Dano (the YouTube video actually is provided by our friend Puckin Hostile) for your Sunday morning viewing enjoyment.
Does this video get you excited to see Dano play? I’m ready for September and Chicago Blackhawks training camp!
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