Before Marko Dano was a Winnipeg Jet, he was a Columbus Blue Jacket rookie who put up good numbers. After that, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks as a part of the Brandon Saad trade. There he was sent to the AHL before being traded to Winnipeg as a part of the Andrew Ladd trade. Since the initial time in Winnipeg when the Jets were decimated by trades and injuries, Dano has struggled to remain in the lineup. This season he has not played since October 27. So what has happened to Marko Dano?
The Winnipeg Jets and specifically Paul Maurice seemed to put Dano on a very short leash. Same with Joel Quenneville and the Chicago Blackhawks. How did a promising young prospect who showed he was more than capable at playing in the NHL at 20 end up being healthy scratched for almost two months? It’s an interesting question and one there seems to be no answer to.
Even if Dano does not fulfill the potential scouts thought he showed when he was drafted in the first round in 2013, he still has the skillset to improve a teams fourth line and the Winnipeg Jets should explore that option. Instead, Dano has been in the press box and any potential development has been stalled. The reason he has not been playing is probably that the Jets are winning, but there is no way to know for sure.
The Jets have been good this year. At the start of the year they were getting by on the strength of their goaltending, but now they are showing to be a legitimately good, if not flawed team. They have had a really good run, but they should be looking at strengthening their team. They do not have to make a trade, but it would be smart to try out Dano on the fourth line at some point.
It is perfectly normal for a team to sour on a player. What is really weird about this case is the fact that they seem to want to do nothing to boost his value in a trade by playing him says a lot. The Jets seem to want to have their cake and eat it too. They want Dano, but they are not willing to play him right now. This is why Dano is now facing almost two months without playing a game.
Essentially, the Jets have Dano and are not playing him. There is no reason why the Jets fourth line has seen no rotation all season. Dano is not developing and not having his trade value boosted at all. He does not have to play a lot. He can simply play on the fourth line, but having him in the game would be beneficial to the player and probably the team if he played. Instead a 23 year old is stuck sitting in the press box and there is no reason to believe that he will be back in the line up any time soon.