Chicago Blackhawks forward Marko Dano has impressed early in training camp and is relishing the chance to skate on the same line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
Dano, acquired in the offseason trade that sent Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets, is 20 years old and has 35 games of NHL experience, but those facts may not prevent him from skating on the Blackhawks' top line when Chicago opens the season on Oct. 7 against the New York Rangers at United Center (NBCSN).
It's also been beneficial that Dano, like Hossa, hails from Slovakia.
"They're great players and there's a lot of what I can learn from them, so I'm real excited about being in a line with them," Dano told the Chicago Tribune on Sunday. "Hossa is basically helping with everything, what I need. He's a good veteran and also my countryman, so he's helping me out to get to know the guys. He's been real nice to me."
Dano, a first-round pick by Columbus (No. 27) at the 2013 NHL Draft, had eight goals and 13 assists in his brief stint with the Blue Jackets last season. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is referring to the Dano-Toews-Hossa trio as the "lottery line" due to what seems to be an infinite amount of chances to score.
"I noticed his quickness, I know he had a little pace to him," Quenneville said. "He's definitely got some size. He doesn't look like he's that big, but he's powerful. Maybe low is stature, but he's thick and he's big and he's got some strength in the puck area. I didn't mind him."