A Second Opportunity in Columbus Could Revive Marko Dano's NHL Career

By Ben Jandrain on August 9, 2019 at 8:05 am
Colorado Avalanche center Marko Dano skates before a regular-season matchup with the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome in November of 2018.
Sergei Belski- USA TODAY Sports

Center Marko Dano is back with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who drafted him 27th overall in the 2013 NHL draft.

Dano certainly hasn't lived up to the expectations of a first-round selection–failing to reach double digits in goals or assists in a single season following his debut year with the Jackets.

The one-year deal is, of course, inexpensive, but there are a few more reasons worth noting that make the signing of Dano worthwhile:

Previous Success

Dano racked up 21 points (8 goals and 13 assists) during the 2014-15 campaign.  To add some perspective, the 13 assists account for 50% of his career helpers (26) and Dano has only scored 11 goals in the National Hockey League over the past four seasons. 

(Possibly) Some Chemistry

Of the current players on the CBJ roster; Alexander Wennberg was on the ice with Dano for seven of his 21 points and Nick Foligno came in in second, on the rink with him for three.  

Foligno and Wennberg could realistically be on the bottom two lines on opening night for Columbus, making a  reunion of sorts a possible outcome.

More Competition

There's a mix of the Blue Jackets core players, veterans and upcoming prospects who will be competing for ice time at forward. While it's an unknown whether or not Dano will make the roster, he won't make it any easier for the rest of the guys or are looking to solidify themselves into an offensive role.

He Wants to Play Here

Jarmo Kekalainen has been vocal when talking about what he wants from players who put on a Blue Jacket uniform, starting with his 2019 exit interview.

"We want guys who want to be Blue Jackets," Kekalainen said. "Proud to be Blue Jackets, and living in Columbus, Ohio. And if that's the reason you want to play somewhere else, go play somewhere else."

Fortunately, it looks like Dano is on the same page:

"It feels like I'm coming home."

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