Sabres' Dahlin is enjoying being in Vegas for the NHL Awards

The Sabres rookie is up for the Calder Trophy

Paul Hamilton
June 18, 2019 - 8:02 pm

Photo: Paul Hamilton (@pham1717)

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Las Vegas, NV (WGR 550) - Rasmus Dahlin is in Vegas to attend his first NHL Awards show. The Sabres defenseman is up for the Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie.

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Dahlin is up against Vancouver winger Elias Pettersson and St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington. He doesn’t think he’ll win on Wednesday, “I’ve got some good guys with me. Elias Pettersson is a pretty special guy out there, so I don’t expect to win, but you never know and it’s really fun to be here.”

Dahlin doesn’t think he’ll win, but he did think he’d be in the top-three, “Yes, but you never know and it’s fun to be nominated and I think I had a pretty good season.”

Pettersson is also from Sweden, and Dahlin likes that his country has two of the three finalists, “It’s special to have two players from Sweden and it’s pretty funny, he’s really a good guy and a good player, so to able to be in Vegas with him at the Awards, it’s special.”

Dahlin has talked to his new coach Ralph Krueger on the phone. He said he enjoyed talking to him, “It went good. We just talked about what he likes and what I like. I’ve only heard good things about him and I’m really excited to play for him. It was all good.”

“I’m young and I’m a defender, so there’s a lot of things to improve on from last season so to have a lot of time to work on all that stuff this summer is going to help me in the game.” Dahlin added, “I’m working out a lot and I’m on the ice too, so I’ve got a lot of time to prepare for next season and come back and really fight for a playoff spot.”

There are many things Dahlin said he’s working on, but he thinks being one year older is going to be huge for his game, “I didn’t expect the season to be that long. It was a lot of games and it was 82 long games, so I’m more mature now and I think I know how to handle all these games now and of course my strength and conditioning is a key for success next summer, so I’m working really hard.”

The mental aspect of the game seemed to get Dahlin in trouble at times. He said, “There were some days where I got too frustrated when we had a bad game, so be able to not think about the games is a big key for next year.”

When you’re 18-years-old you don’t think about the business side of hockey. Dahlin will likely have some new teammates in the fall. He said, “The trade deadline last season was pretty special, I had never experienced that before, so that was weird and I learned new things every day.”

The Sabres just completed some big business by re-signing Jeff Skinner. Dahlin said, “It is super good that he’s back with the Sabres. He’s a great guy in the locker-room and he scores a lot of goals, so that’s really good for us.”

Pettersson scored 28 goals in 71 games for the Canucks, while Binnington had played 13 NHL minutes before January rolled around. He got the crease and went 24-5-1 with a 1.89 goals-against and .927 save percentage in route to the Stanley Cup.

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