Kevin Lalande was the OHL grad goalie that was in the spotlight at the recent 2015 IIHF World Championships. However, another OHL grad goalie did everything he could to keep his country in the tournament. Sebastian Dahm had the second highest save percentage in the competition and, with little to no offensive support, helped Denmark avoid relegation. Dahm will leave his home country for the first time since 2009-10 and play for Austria’s Graz 99ers for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
Dahm spent a well-travelled three years in the Ontario Hockey League between 2005-06 and 2007-08. Originally drafted by the Belleville Bulls at the 2005 CHL Import Draft, 49th overall. He spent his first year in the OHL with the Bulls as backup to the aforementioned Kevin Lalande.
Sebastian started 2006-07 with the Sarnia Sting and split his year evenly between Sarnia and the Sudbury Wolves. In the playoffs, Dahm played all 21 games for the Wolves and the underdogs reached the finals before falling to the Plymouth Whalers.
That year, he also made a major difference for Denmark, this time at the IIHF World Juniors in the Division 1. Dahm played all five games for Denmark at the 2007 tournament and the team placed first in the six team Group A, earning a promotion. That tournament was held in Odense, Denmark. Sebastian had competed in the WJC D1 previously but seeing just two games in a backup role.
In his final season, Dahm was dealt by the Wolves to the Niagara IceDogs at the trade deadline.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, Dahm has played pro hockey since 2008-09 in the AHL, ECHL, IHL and Denmark’s Metal Ligaen. He had been with Rodovre since 2010-11 through 2014-15.
At the World Championships, Sebastian has been on the roster for the Danes four times. However, in 2009, 2013 and 2014, he mostly rode the pines as the backup. In 2015, that all changed. Over five games, Dahm had a 2.22 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. His save percentage was good for second in the tournament.
At the tournament held in the Czech Republic, Denmark won one game (over Norway) and grabbed a point in an overtime loss. Three of their losses were by just a single goal (against U.S.A., Slovakia and Slovenia). Denmark finished 14th of 16 teams and narrowly avoided relegation. Dahm was named a top 3 player on his team.
Officially the EC Moser Medical Graz 99ers, the team was founded in 1999 and promoted to Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga for the 2000-01 season. The team has found little success in the playoffs, passing through the quarter-finals on just one occasion. Graz has not reached the post season since 2012-13. The 99ers play home games at the Eishalle Liebenau in Graz, Austria, a 4,050 seat venue that was opened in 1963.
Graz is located in the southeast of Austria, near the border with Slovenia and Hungary. The city of 270,000 (600,000 in the greater area) is the second largest in Austria behind Vienna. In 1999, Graz was named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Perhaps the city’s most famous son is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold was born and raised in Thal, a town just two kilometres from Graz.