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Dano Has Familiar Faces In Colorado

The forward was claimed on waivers by the Avalanche on Monday

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

PHILADELPHIA--Although new Colorado Avalanche forward Marko Dano has only been around the team for two days, he is very familiar with a few faces on the Avs' bench.

Both Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar and assistant coach Nolan Pratt were on the American Hockey League's Springfield Falcons coaching staff during the 2013-14 season when the Austrian-born center began playing in North America.

Bednar was also the head coach of the Falcons the following year when Dano had 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 39 AHL outings. He also recorded 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 35 games at the NHL level that season.

"We had a good run in Springfield, and it's always good when you know the coach," Dano said of his relationship with Bednar. "We haven't seen each other for a long time, and I am excited to work with him and I appreciate the chance they have given to me."

After being claimed on waivers by the Avalanche from the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, Dano's first time skating with his new club was on Sunday at Wells Fargo Center.

The 5-foot-11, 212-pound center was officially added to Colorado's active roster on Friday after his immigration paperwork got settled.

"New start and new teammates. It's going to be a challenge, but I am excited for this chance," said Dano. "I didn't get many games in Winnipeg, but it was a good experience there. Now I am ready to take my chance and play a little bit more. It's going to depend on how I am going to work for that, but you got to deserve the ice time. Hopefully my work ethic and all the skill I can bring will help the team."

Video: Marko Dano after his first practice with the Avs

The 23-year-old has 45 points (19 goals, 26 assists) in 130 career NHL games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg.

He played in 30 contests during the 2017-18 campaign with the Jets, tallying three points (two goals, one assist), but has yet to see game action this season.

"It's been a couple days since I have been on the ice the last time," Dano said. "Its good, finally I went on the ice with the team and I am excited to be here."

The Avs held an optional practice on Sunday that saw 13 players on the ice, including nine forwards, three defensemen and goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Head coach Jared Bednar was not on the ice for the session, but he is excited for what Dano can add to his lineup.

"He is a young, skilled player. Has a real sturdiness to his game and can contribute in a bunch of different situations, including power play and penalty kill," Bednar said on Tuesday of Dano after the team claimed him. "I think he showed a little bit more of an offensive upside when he was younger. With the deep team that Winnipeg has, he probably didn't get as much ice time as we would have liked.

"I think we have some ice time that is up for grabs, and I think he can get in the mix on some of that. I will be interested to see how he plays and comes in here. He has got a great attitude. He is looking to try and earn more ice time, and we are excited to bring him on board because I think he fits in with our young group."

It is uncertain when Dano will make his Avalanche debut, but it could be as early as Monday when the Avalanche plays at the Philadelphia Flyers to close its four-game road trip.

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