KHL Medveščak Zagreb have started to put together the pieces of their 2013/2014 season puzzle, which will see them play in the KHL for the first time in history! The first player who has decided to mark these historic moments with the Bears is Canadian goalie of Croatian descent Mark Dekanich, whom Medveščak’s management has been keen on for some time now.
”Mark is a great goalie who happens to have Croatian roots. He’s got three top seasons in the AHL behind him, during which his game was consistent. An injury kept him off the ice in the 2011/2012 season. However, despite a long recovery, toward the end of 2012/2013 he started to get back to the level he was at before his injury and we expect him to be the person who we are going to build this team around. Mark is very happy to have been given the opportunity to play in Zagreb and for Medveščak in the KHL”, declared Medveščak’s athletics director Aaron Fox.
Mark Dekanich was born in 1986 in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He played in the juniors in the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League) for the Coquitlam Express. In the 2004/2005 season he became a member of the Colgate University team in the highest-ranking American college league, the NCAA.
He skated into the world of professional hockey in 2008, playing in the AHL for the Milwaukee Admirals, a branch of the Nashville Predators. That same season he played two games for the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, and he also played in the AHL All-Star game. In December 2010 he had the opportunity to debut in the NHL wearing a Nashville Predators jersey in a game against the L.A. Kings.
In June 2011 he signed a contract with another NHL team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and a year later he signed with the Winnipeg Jets and played a season in their AHL team, the St. John’s Ice Caps.
So far in his professional career, Dekanich has played 9,122 minutes in the AHL, and defended 3,898 out of 4,260 shots on net, giving him a 91.5% save count.