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Overseas Update: Jonathan Dahlen to make men’s national team debut

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Dahlen makes a splash, and other updates from abroad.

Jonathan Dahlen #27 of Team Sweden celebrates his third goal of the match during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship preliminary round game against Team Czech Republic at the Bell Centre on December 31, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Team Sweden defeated Team Czech Republic 5-2. Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Of the 13 skaters that the San Jose Sharks have sent abroad in this extended off-season, Jonathan Dahlen has been one of those most exciting to keep tabs on. Though the restricted free agent has not yet come to terms with the Sharks on his next contract, he signed a one-year deal to return to Timrå IK of HockeyAllsvenskan as the league’s highest-paid player and the team’s captain.

Last season with Timrå, Dahlen tied for second-all time in points with 77, also winning four league awards for most goals (36), best plus/minus (+49), forward of the year and most valuable player. He also won Swedish Gentleman of the Year in 2018, an award previously won by NHL players Jesper Fast (New York Rangers, 2013) and Jakob Silvferberg (Anaheim Ducks, 2012).

When Dahlen re-signed with Timrå in May, his agent expressed that he still wishes to play in the NHL one day, but perhaps not until the 2021-22 season. After a difficult experience with the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks), Dahlen moved his development back to his home country of Sweden. Dahlen turns 23 years old in December.

But it’s hard to argue it hasn’t paid off, for Dahlen, at least. Now, he’ll be making his debut with the men’s Swedish National Team, a team with seven rookies, including four forwards, two defenders and one goaltender. The team will be preparing for the Karjala Tournament, which will be held bubble-style in Helsinki, Finland from November 5-8.

“In terms of play, I know that he is physically stronger. He looks more ‘senior’ now. Plus he participates in the defensive game in a completely different way now. Considering what the selection process was before this tournament, it is a good idea to take him and test him. Now he will show that he is here in Tre Kronor. I think he can do it gallantly,” said team captain Johan Garpenlöv to Swedish paper Aftonbladet (via Google Translate).

Playing in a men’s national team tournament will be a step forward for Dahlen, too. HockeyAllsvenskan is Swedish second-tier league, below the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). With the Tre Kronor, Dahlen will be playing with and against better competition and now is the perfect time to take that step.

That’s one step closer to the NHL, in my opinion.

Here’s a quick glance at how the rest of the Sharks are doing abroad (Note: I broke it down by league, to give an easy comparison of how players in the same league are performing. This does mean that Yegor Spiridonov and Adam Raska have multiple entries, as they have been shifted up and down between leagues):

-HockeyAllsvenskan-

Jonathan Dahlen, LW

Team: Timrå IK | 2020-21 Stats: 7 GP, 6 G, 10 A | Nationality: SWE | Age: 22 | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 181 | Shoots: L

Marcus Sorensen, LW/RW

Team: HC Vita Hästen | 2020-21 Stats: 8 GP, 6 G, 7 A | Nationality: SWE | Age: 28 | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 174 | Shoots: L

Joel Kellman, C

Team: Kristianstads IK | 2020-21 Stats: 9 GP, 2 G, 0 A | Nationality: SWE | Age: 26 | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 192 | Shoots: L

-SHL-

Linus Öberg, C/W

Team: Örebro HK | 2020-21 Stats: 10 GP, 5 G, 0 A | Nationality: SWE | Age: 20 | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 203 | Shoots: R

Fredrik Händemark, C

Team: Malmö Redhawks | 2020-21 Stats: 9 GP, 1 G, 4 A | Nationality: SWE | Age: 27 | Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 209 | Shoots: L

-Liiga-

Antti Suomela, C

Team: HIFK | 2020-21 Stats: 3 GP, 0 G, 0 A | Nationality: FIN | Age: 26 | Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 179 | Shoots: L

Santeri Hatakka, D

Team: Ilves | 2020-21 Stats: 9 GP, 1 G, 1 A | Nationality: FIN | Age: 19 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 183 | Shoots: L

Timur Ibragimov, LW

Team: TPS | 2020-21 Stats: 7 GP, 2 G, 0 A | Nationality: RUS | Age: 20 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 183 | Shoots: L

-MHL-

Yegor Spiridonov, C/LW

Team: SKA-1946 St. Petersburg | 2020-21 Stats: 7 GP, 2 G, 4 A | Nationality: RUS | Age: 19 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | Shoots: R

-VHL-

Yegor Spiridonov, C/LW

Team: SKA-Neva St. Petersburg | 2020-21 Stats: 2 GP, 1 G, 1 A | Nationality: RUS | Age: 19 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | Shoots: R

Artemi Knyazev, D

Team: Bars Kazan | 2020-21 Stats: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A | Nationality: RUS | Age: 19 | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 183 | Shoots: L

-KHL-

Yegor Spiridonov, C/LW

Team: SKA St. Petersburg | 2020-21 Stats: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A | Nationality: RUS | Age: 19 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | Shoots: R

Emil Galimov, LW/RW

Team: SKA St. Petersburg | 2020-21 Stats: 9 GP, 4 G, 2 A | Nationality: RUS | Age: 28 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | Shoots: L

Tony Sund, D

Team: Dinamo Riga | 2020-21 Stats: 6 GP, 0 G, 4 A | Nationality: FIN | Age: 21 | Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 183 | Shoots: L

Ivan Chekhovich, LW

Team: Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod | 2020-21 Stats: 2 GP, 1 G, 1 A | Nationality: RUS | Age: 21 | Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 185 | Shoots: L

Alexei Melnichuk, G

Team: Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod | 2020-21 Stats: 6 GP, 2.14 GAA, .924 SV% | Nationality: RUS | Age: 22 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 187 | Catches: L

-Czech-

Adam Raska, LW/RW

Team: HC Ocelari Trinec | 2020-21 Stats: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A | Nationality: CZE | Age: 19 | Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 163 | Shoots: R

Josef Korenar, G

Team: HC Ocelari Trinec | 2020-21 Stats: 1 GP, 2.18 GAA, .900 SV% | Nationality: CZE | Age: 22 | Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 185 | Catches: L

-Czech2-

Adam Raska, LW/RW

Team: HC Frydek-Mistek | 2020-21 Stats: 6 GP, 0 G, 0 A | Nationality: CZE | Age: 19 | Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 163 | Shoots: R

-Denmark-

Joachim Blichfeld

Team: Frederikshavn White Hawks | 2020-21 Stats: 0 GP, 0 G, 0 A | Nationality: DEN | Age: 22 | Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 187 | Shoots: R