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Friday, March 31, 2023

Shark’s Dahlen is proving her time is now: ‘You could just tell she was ready’

KANATA, Ontario – Sharks forward Jonathan Dahlen is calling his father, Ulf, after nearly every game he’s played away from home for more than a decade.

Naturally, the call they made in Sweden on Tuesday night after the record-setting performance was a little more special than the others.

“I didn’t have Canada on my phone plan, so I had to find some Wi-Fi,” Dahlen said. “I’ve been calling him after almost every game since I was 10, so I called him after that too and it was a lot of fun.”

The 23-year-old Dahlen scored two goals in the first 3:36 of the first period to help the Sharks win 5-0 over the Montreal Canadiens. The two goals in the first 63:36 of his NHL career were the fastest first two goals for any Sharks player in team history.

Dahlen and linemates Logan Couture and Timo Meier combined for seven points in the win, and now the Sharks will try for their third straight win on Thursday when they play the Ottawa Senators, the team that won the second round in 2016, 42 overall. Dahlen was drafted in the 9th round. .

“It just feels very unrealistic, so maybe I need some time to sink in,” Dahlen said of his two-goal game. “It was a very unrealistic three minutes.”

It was the type of performance that perhaps some followers of Dahlen’s career thought a few years ago.

Dahlen was traded by the Senators to the Vancouver Canucks in February 2017 for veteran winger Alexandre Burroughs.

Dahlen had scoring touch around the net and excellent hockey sense, but needed to get stronger and improve on her skating. When he returned to North America for the start of the 2017–18 season, he was already considered among the Canucks’ top prospects and was set to begin his first season in the AHL.

But Dahlen came down with mononucleosis shortly before the Canucks’ rookie tournament, which derailed the start of his North American pro career. Dahlen said the Canucks wanted him to stick around for his AHL colleague in Utica, “but I was so lost in the weeks when I wasn’t allowed to do anything, I said I needed to go back home.” Is.”

It was a boon. Dahlen went back home and helped Timra get promoted to the Swedish Hockey League.

“It was one of the funniest years for me,” Dahlen said.

Dahlen returned to North America and played 52 games with Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica, NY, collecting 31 points before he was acquired by the Sharks for forward Linus Carlsen in February 2019.

“I probably wasn’t really ready,” Dahlen said. “But I played very well in the American League that year. I don’t know. It’s hard to look back, but those two years (returning to Sweden) were good for me.

Canucks GM Jim Benning at the time of trade said that Dahlen had requested a change of scenery. Prior to the 2019-2020 season, after a short stint with Barracuda, Dahlen returned to Timra IK in Sweden to help get their production back on track.

“Obviously there are a lot of question marks about my (decisions) depending on where I play,” Dahlen said. “I think I developed really well (with Timra). I think I’ve made a smart choice for my career and I’m happy to be here.

Dahlen had 148 points in 96 games with Timra in the last two years, leading the team to the league championship, which again promoted the club to the top tier Swedish Hockey League.

San Jose Sharks’ Jonathan Dahlen (76) celebrates with Mario Ferraro (38) and Timo Maier (28) after scoring a goal as Montreal Canadiens’ Nick Suzuki (14) scored the first of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. Skated during the period. 19, 2021, in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press via AP)

Now he felt it was time to return to North America and become a full-time player in the NHL. He signed a one-year, one-sided contract with San Jose in June.

“You could tell right away when it came that he was ready,” said Sharks defenseman Eric Carlson. “He’s done all the right things to set himself up to be successful in this league. He’s a smart player. He may not be the fastest bowler ever, but he’s a player that everyone can play with. wants.

Dahlen started training camp with Couture and Meier, and so far, he looks ready for the role.

“I’m glad the sharks have given me this opportunity,” Dahlen said. “It’s great that he always believed in me.”

Switch to net: Sharks coach Bob Boffner said goalkeeper James Reimer would start Thursday’s play and Edin Hill would start Friday’s play in Toronto. Hill made 23 saves for his fourth career shutout against the Canadiens as he improved to 2-0-0 with a .932 save percentage, but Boffner felt Hill had lost two games in four days and a cross-continent flight. The latter could use some rest.

“They both deserve (to play). Reimer had a great camp too,” Boffner said. “It makes more sense from an energy and comfort standpoint to be back with Hill on Friday.”

World Nation News Desk
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