2013 Draft Prospect Profile #35: Marko Dano

Our 30th 2013 prospect profile is on Marko Dano of Slovan Bratislava of the KHL (Russia).

Marko Dano

Position: Center
Team: Slovan Bratislava (KHL)
Age: 18
Date of Birth: November 30, 1994
Place of Birth: Eisenstadt, Austria
Ht: 5'11" Wt: 185 lbs
Shoots: Left

2012-2013 Regular Season Stats:

37 3 4 7 +4 26

2012-2013 Playoff Stats:

4 0 0 0 0 4

Marko Dano is a small, quick forward who can play a high-energy game with some offensive upside. His skating allows him to negate some of his size limitations, and his energy combined with that skating gives him the ability to be a solid two-way guy. He plays physically for his size, doesn't shy away from battles and checking, and is willing to go into the dirty areas to play. That said, he'll need to get stronger to do that at the NHL level.

Dano is ranked #12 in the final Central Scouting European Skater rankings.

Scouting Reports:

Dano transferred to a KHL team in Slovakia after playing in that country's domestic professional league the season before. Despite being born in Austria, he has represented Slovakia, playing well for them in internationally. His most notable performance was at this season's World Junior Championship, where he was one of the tournament's top players. He has a lot offensive skills, most notably his hockey sense and his good hands. He is a very aware player, capable of top-end distributions. He tends to make quick decisions, and is an agile player, with powerful, all-around bursts. One scout described him as a slippery skater because of his agility and creativity with the puck. He has an above-average top gear. He will show some physical effort, but he is a smaller player at 5'11", and he projects as fringe in the physical areas at the NHL level. He will need to build up his strength.

- Hockey Prospectus
Dano is a very good skater. His top in speed is good, and his acceleration is excellent. His stride is powerful, and his edgework crisp. He has the balance to fight through checks and to play the game in the dirty areas of the ice, and he has the agility to weave his way through defenders in the offensive zone. Dano’s quickness allows him to be first on the forecheck where he loves to get into the zone and create havoc for opposing defenders.

Dano’s game is a great combination of skill and grit. As mentioned he loves to hit and involve himself physically in the play. He plays a much bigger game than his size would indicate, battling in the corners and in front of the net. He is in the middle of every scrum, playing the agitator role and just loving to get under the skin of his opponents. He marries this with good instincts, an ability to find holes in the opposing defence, strong passing and playmaking skill, and a good shot and release. Dano’s best offensive attribute though are his soft hands which he can use to stick handle and protect the puck from defenders and to score goals in tight.

Dano also plays a strong defensive game, bringing his brand of phyiscal hockey to his own end of the rink. He is involved in all aspects of the backcheck, but is especially adept at creating turnovers and starting the transition game. He is not afraid to get his nose dirty, and seems to play with reckless abandon on every shift. In fact if there is a criticism its that he may need to reign his game in slightly to avoid costly penalties at bad times.

Dano’s style is reminiscent of Pat Verbeek, the little ball of hate. He’s a great combination of grit and skill. Now this is a stylistic comparison and not one based on potential. With Dano’s skating, grit, never quit motor and good defensive play, he’s a pretty safe pick in the draft, and is highly likely to make the NHL in a checking line role at minimum. If he can keep developping the offensive skill he can be a top 6 winger.

Ben Kerr, Top Shelf Prospects

Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:

Let's see... strong skater, great work ethic, willingness to be physical... sounds like a Jackets' forward to me. And, while it's true that the Jackets are set in the bottom six for the near future, Dano is a guy that projects to be making an impact in a few years at minimum, so he wouldn't be a bad prospect to groom for the checking line of the future.

Dano in Action

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