Bergenheim: You don't see players like Dahlin come along very often

Former teammate of Rasmus Dahlin, Sean Bergenheim joined Howard Simon on Monday

Howard & Jeremy | Weekdays 6a-10a
June 18, 2018 - 10:27 am

Photo: Alex Brandon - Associated Press

The Buffalo Sabres are less than a week away from likely drafting Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with he first overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Over the past several weeks, several guests have made appearances on WGR, and have given their thoughts on what the city of Buffalo can expect of the 18-year-old phenom. Dahlin's coaches, former teammates, and other reporters from around the hockey world have given their two cents about the young defenseman, and most of the responses have been more than appealing.

Dahlin's former teammate in Frolunda Sean Bergenheim is the latest to chime in with his thoughts, and was asked if there was one word that can describe the defenseman's play over the two tyears he spent in the Swedish Hockey League.

“Exceptional, that is the first word that comes to my mind," Bergenheim said with Howard Simon on Monday. "He’s definitely a player that you don’t see come around too often in this world.”

Bergenheim has played with and against some of the best players in the world during a career, which includes 21 professional seasons and over 500 NHL games. What he sees in Dahlin is what he has seen in some of the great players in the sport.

“He just sees the game quicker than other players do," Bergenheim said. "You see special players like Sidney Crosby and others who are the top players, they have that extra something and that’s what I see in him for sure.”

Over the past two seasons Bergenheim spent playing with Frolunda, he played in 36 games, registering 17 points before being forced to retire due to concussion issues. It was when Dahlin was at the young age of 16 that Bergenheim remembered the first time he noticed Dahlin’s talent.

“There was this young guy with a face cage on and he did a coast-to-coast in practice, which was just mind-blowing,” he said. “I looked up to coach…and said ‘What did I just see?’ and the coach was just nodding his head and said ‘You’ll be hearing a lot about this guy.’”

Many have questioned how Dahlin will transition from the wider ice surface of the Swedish league to the narrower one of the NHL. Having played extensively on both sheets, Bergenheim does not think Dahlin will have much trouble with the transition.

“I think it goes pretty quickly when you’re young, you don’t even think about it much,” he said. “When I came over I thought it was pretty easy, to be honest I thought it was much much harder to go back to the European ice surface…”

When asked to remember his favorite play of Dahlin’s from a game, Bergenheim could not single out just one.

“I have about five in my head already,” he said.

You can listen to Bergenheim's entire interview with Howard below:

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