Utica, N.Y. - A day after the Vancouver Canucks traded 21-year-old forward Jonathan Dahlen to the San Jose sharks for 19-year-old prospect Linus Karlsson, the Utica Comets were practicing with yet another void to fill, Tuesday.
The difference this time was that, according to Canucks General Manager Jim Benning, it was Dahlen who asked to be moved.
"We'll miss Jon, he's a guy that helped our power play," said Comets head coach, Trent Cull, following the team's Tuesday skate. "I think [he and his representation] wanted the chance to get to the NHL faster and I guess they thought they'd find that somewhere else."
Dahlen was, at least on paper, adjusting well in his first full season playing in North America. He was fifth on the team with 24 points through 50 games, with his last 10 points coming in the previous 14 games.
"He was playing well, he was putting up some points, he was learning every day, he was a really nice kid. Unfortunately that's the business that we're in," said Comets captain, Carter Bancks. "[I] wish him all the best and hope he has a great career."
According to Cull, Dahlen never gave any indication that he was frustrated with his role on the team or his status within the organization, and that they never discussed anything of that nature.
"We were trying to put him into situations to succeed and I thought he was doing that, but I think it takes time," he said. "My job is to give as finished a product as I possibly can to Travis Green and the Vancouver Canucks."
From Cull's perspective, things were moving along at the pace that they should be.
"I thought he was developing not unlike Zack MacEwen," he said. "Obviously he wants to play in the NHL, but he wasn't coming in telling me he should be going up every week. [But] other people's timelines...that's up to them"
Cull reiterated that despite feeling as though you are ready to make the jump, that isn't always the case. He stressed patience as being the key to developing a steady, full-time NHL career.
"You still have to be coachable. We're all trying to get better, all trying to better ourselves individually and as a group," he said. "Unfortunately, sometimes when you start thinking that way, you already think that you're a finished product and that's the part that we were trying to help out with, with Jonathan for sure."
Dahlen was assigned by San Jose to their AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda.