UTICA — The Utica Comets continue to get a boost as they continue to battle for playoff positioning during the final regular-season games.

The latest addition to the Comets happened Thursday with the anticipated addition of top prospect Jonathan Dahlen. The move involving the skilled 20-year-old Swedish player’s return to the Comets had been expected after Utica General Manager Ryan Johnson told the Observer-Dispatch last Friday that the forward would be joining the team this week.

“This is a huge step. I want to get him into some games and see where he’s at at this level,” Johnson said on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 radio.

Dahlen spent the preseason with the Comets and played two games against Syracuse. However, he had previously been slowed by a mononucleosis diagnosis and the Canucks made the decision to allow Dahlen to return to Sweden to play.

Dahlen is coming off a successful season with Timra, which was in Sweden’s second tier known as Allsvenskan. Dahlen was a key player, with a team-best 23 goals and 44 points in 44 games to help the team reach the postseason. In 10 postseason games, Dahlen led all players with eight goals and 14 points to help Timra earn promotion to the Swedish Hockey League.

Dahlen joins forwards Nikolay Goldobin, Tyler Motte and defenseman Ashton Sautner, who each gained important experience during stints with Vancouver. Prospects Kole Lind and Lukas Jasek (six points in four games) also recently joined the Comets, and the team is getting players back from injuries. That includes Jayson Megna, who returned to the lineup last weekend after missing 43 games with an upper-body ailment.

The changes give the Comets more than 30 healthy players for a team that has battled through a host of injuries this season to clinch a spot in the postseason.

“We appreciate having quality American Hockey League players come back,” said Comets coach Trent Cull, who has used 53 players in the lineup this season. “We want to take the time to get our group together without overtaxing them. … It is a delicate balance. I want see how we can kind of gel in a very short amount of time.”

Cull believes Motte “is going to be more of an impact player at this level than he was at the NHL level.” The 23-year-old Motte had five goals and two assists in 46 games with Columbus and Vancouver this season.

“Hopefully I can carve out a role as we go here,” said Motte, who had nine goals and two assists in 17 games with the Cleveland Monsters this season. “I just want to try to find a way to help this team win."

The Comets (37-25-7-4, 85 points) have three regular-season games remaining this weekend. Utica gets Syracuse — which has back-to-back shutouts against the Comets — on Friday. Then, Utica plays at Belleville on Saturday before wrapping up Sunday afternoon against visiting Binghamton.

“(For this to happen) a couple of games before the playoffs start allows us to get everyone integrated and on the same page,” Megna said. “It's a great help to our team moving forward with whoever we play in the first round.”

The Comets are in fourth place in the North Division and challenging third-place Rochester, which is two points ahead but has only two games remaining. The fourth-place team will take on Toronto while the third-place team will play Syracuse when the best-of-five North Division semifinal series begins next weekend.

"It doesn't matter to us," Megna said of a potential playoff opponent. “They’re both tough opponents. There’s not going to be one that’s easier than the other. Obviously, Syracuse being a little bit closer is nice. But … it doesn’t matter who we get, we’re going to have to prepare equally.”

Contact reporter Ben Birnell at 315-792-5032 or follow him on Twitter (@OD_Birnell).