After spending the past two seasons improving his game in Sweden, goalie Oscar Dansk will officially bring his talents to North American beginning this season for the Ontario Hockey League's Erie Otters.
The Otters on Monday agreed to terms with Dansk, a 2012 second-round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The announcement was made by Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager of the Otters. Bassin said the contract should be finalized over the next few days.
Dansk, who was drafted with the first pick of the second round (No. 31) by the Blue Jackets at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, spent last season with Brynas Jr. of Sweden's second division. He sported a 2.82 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 28 games.
NHL Central Scouting's No. 2-ranked European goalie admitted he would certainly take the major junior route if he was selected by a team during the Canadian Hockey League's annual Import Draft. The Otters made certain of that when they chose the 6-foot-2, 187-pound goalie with the third pick in a process held four days after the NHL Draft.
"My dream will be to come to camp and try my best, but I know it's a process and however long the process going to take, we'll see," Dansk said the day he was drafted. "I feel like I had good conversations with the Blue Jackets, but you never know what will happen."
"I feel like I have to focus on getting stronger and quicker and stronger legs in order to get to the next level," Dansk said.
The native of Stockholm, who also spent three seasons at Minnesota prep powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary's, might just be the next great puck-controlling goalie to enter the NHL.
"I like the smaller ice surface in North America," he said. "It kind of fits my game a little better. I played three years at Shattuck and that worked out great."
Dansk didn't register a GAA higher than 2.00 in any of his three seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary's, including the 2009-10 campaign on the Under-16 Team when he sported a 1.89 GAA and .914 save percentage.
In addition to notching one assist for silver-medal winning Sweden at the 2012 Under-18 World Championship in April, Dansk was named one of the team's top players after finishing 4-1 with a 1.98 GAA and .937 save percentage in five appearances.
"He covers a lot of the net when in butterfly, recovers quickly, is athletic, focused and competitive," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. "His angles and positional game are excellent, he's good at controlling rebounds, and always seems ready for the next shot."
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter: @mike_morreale