Erie Otters netminder Oscar Dansk was one of three goaltenders named to the preliminary roster for Team Sweden for the upcoming 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, which begin December 26 in Ufa, Russia.
Dansk is likely to be the starting goaltender for Sweden in the tournament, and has been projected as one of the top goaltenders overall in the World Juniors.
The 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships will be Dansk’s first chance at a WJC medal, but it won’t be the first time he represents his country. He previously won a silver medal in the 2012 World U18 Championships, and also won a silver medal at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
He was also named best goaltender and won a gold medal at the 2009-10 TV-pucken tournament, a Swedish tournament for under-15 teams. Dansk had a 1.80 GAA and .932 save percentage in five games.
The 18-year-old Stockholm native joined the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League this season after playing overseas the past two seasons. He had previously suited up for Brynas IF Gavle of the Swedish Elite League, appearing in 11 games that year and eight in the previous season.
Before beginning his OHL career, Dansk was drafted by the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets with the 31st overall selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
He’s quickly taken over the lead goaltending role in Erie, appearing in 27 of 35 games for the team this season. Dansk is 8-15-1-3, with 98 goals allowed on 1,018 shots faced.
He has a 3.63 GAA and .904 save percentage, appearing 20th and 18th leaguewide in those statistics, respectively. He’s also 19th in wins and 12th in shootouts, having gone 2-3 with seven goals allowed on 24 attempts.
In addition, Dansk is second in the league in saves – he’s just barely edged out by Guelph Storm (and possibly USA) netminder Garret Sparks, who has 1,036 saves in 33 games.
Sweden’s camp for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships began on December 18, with the final roster expected by December 25 before the tournament begins in Ufa, Russia the next day.
The other goaltenders attending the Swedish camp are Joel Lassinantti, who plays for Lulea HF and is draft-eligible in 2013, and Niklas Lundstrom, a St. Louis Blues draft choice playing with AIK.