It might be mixed emotions for Jonathan Dahlen tonight.
On one side with the Vancouver Canucks is good friend Elias Pettersson.
Going back to training camp, Dahlen, still unsure if he was even making the San Jose Sharks, was already musing about getting to these mid-December tilts against Pettersson and the Canucks. This is San Jose’s first tilt versus Vancouver.
He also talked about the possibility of having dinner with Pettersson the night before the game, a symbolic milestone for “making it.”
Because of the Canucks’ COVID situation, they’re not going to be having dinner. But there are no doubts about making it for Dahlen, second among NHL rookies right now with eight goals.
“It’ll be fun playing against Elias,” Dahlen said yesterday.
Jonathan Dahlen and Elias Pettersson met each other as teenagers on Timra IK’s lower-level clubs.
“We found some good chemistry right away, at least in the junior teams,” he recalled, “kept it going on the men’s team.”
They thought they were going to be NHL teammates as well. Pettersson was drafted fifth-overall by Vancouver in 2017, while Dahlen, drafted in the second round of the 2016 Draft by Ottawa, had just been traded to the Canucks at the Trade Deadline.
Dahlen, however, was dealt to the San Jose Sharks in Feb. 2019. Pettersson was polishing off a Calder Trophy campaign that season.
“We were excited,” Dahlen said. “Yeah, life takes different roads. I wasn’t really where he was.”
On the other side with the Canucks for Dahlen was a difficult time in Utica, Vancouver’s then-AHL affiliate. This is what precipitated the move to the Sharks.
“I had some low confidence there,” Dahlen admitted on the Sekeres & Price podcast yesterday.
After the trade to San Jose, Dahlen went back home to re-gain his confidence. He did just that, piling up 148 points in 96 games for Timra IK.
“Ended up being good for me in the long run,” Dahlen said of the trade. “Two great years back [in Sweden], great organization now.”
So is tonight a little bit of a revenge game for Jonathan Dahlen?
“It’s obviously gonna be a little extra special thing. It’s Vancouver,” Dahlen offered. “But it’s not like I’m gonna go in and do anything different. I’m not a flashy player, I’m still going to do my small things.
“Nothing changes for me.”
Logan Couture smiled when I asked if his linemate was going to have a little bit more juice tonight.
“He’s so easy-going. It’s hard to tell, but we’ll try and win this one for him,” Couture said. “I know deep down there’s probably something there.”
Scenes from morning skate 📸 pic.twitter.com/X6VBKYP8wD
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 16, 2021
San Jose Sharks (15-13-1)
#SJSharks lines tonight look like — Halbgewachs will make his NHL debut:
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) December 16, 2021
According to Sports Betting Dime, the Sharks are favored to win tonight.
Here’s the spread and moneyline:
Vancouver Canucks +1.5 (+110)
San Jose Sharks -1.5 (-130)
Vancouver Canucks (13-15-2)
Where to Watch
Puck drop against Vancouver is 7:30 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California and ESPN+. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.
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