Sep 21, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Oscar Dansk (35) makes a save against St. Louis Blues right wing Peter Mueller (88) at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
The Columbus Blue Jackets will be loaning goaltending prospect Oscar Dansk to his native Sweden for the start of the 2015-2016 season. Dansk is set to play with Rogle BK, which is part of the SHL.
Dansk played with the Springfield Falcons last season in the AHL and did not play at the level that was expected of him. Dansk had a record of 7-7-5 through 21 games and had an abysmal .880 save percentage. He was then sent down to Kalamazoo of the ECHL and there he also was terrible. Dansk sported a .889 save percentage and 3.73 goals against average in 11 starts.
Dansk shared his displeasure of his play with the Columbus Dispatch during Blue Jackets development camp.
“I got away from my game a little bit because I felt like I wasn’t playing really well, so (I) tried to find a solution… I maybe should have just built on my game and made it stronger. I got away from my game, which probably hurt me in the long run.” Dansk told reporters.
Dansk will now try and find his game back in Sweden where he has put up his best numbers in his career. Playing with Byrnäs’ J20 team, Dansk played 49 games with a 2.76 GAA and .911 save percentage.
And as a Blue Jackets fan there should not be anything to worry about at this time. Dansk is only 21 years old. Goalies usually take a little longer than skaters to develop so he has plenty of time to reach a high potential before coming to the NHL.
Once Dansk regains confidence and gets back to his game, he can return to the AHL and see if he is ready. Remember that Dansk is on a loan, as well. If he starts to have gaudy numbers with Rogle, the organization can bring him back to North America.
It is quite possible that Dansk will need to have a limited number of starts in the AHL. Dansk may be too skilled for the SHL, but not skilled enough for the AHL.
His hybrid style of play is often very successful with goalies in the Swedish leagues and can translate to the AHL. Prospects like Robin Lehner, Magnus Hellberg, and Jakob Markstrom have had very good AHL careers after coming over from Sweden.
Oscar Dansk has unfortunately turned into a longer project than people expected to be, but the extra time in Sweden could pay off big time.
Dansk will have fewer games and more practices to work on his problems.
“I have a schedule with fewer games over in Sweden, so I’ll have more time in practices to really nail down a few things and just take my time and not rush into things.”