It’s playoff time in the CHL, as the North American junior prospects join their NCAA and Euro league counterparts in postseason play. In the North American pro ranks, the Comets season is winding down as well, and they’re in the thick of a playoff race. There’s lots going on in terms of Canucks prospects, and you can follow along with our weekly Complete Canucks Schedule.
Things have gotten a lot more intricate than they were during the regular seasons, particularly across the Atlantic. Of the Canucks three European prospects (I’m counting Anton Cederholm as one, in addition to the more prominent pair of Jonathan Dahlen and Lukas Jasek), only Cederholm is still playing with his regular team. AIK is still alive in the Allsvenskan playoffs and will play the rubber match of a best of three series against BIK Karlskoga with the winner going on to face the SHL’s Rogle BK in the Qualification tournament. The winner of that best of seven will play in the SHL next season, while the loser will play in the second tier Allsvenskan.
Meanwhile, Dahlen’s Timra IK has already been eliminated, and so he has been assigned to their U20 equivalent. Timra IK J20 blew out their playoff opponents in both games of a best of three series (Dahlen had four goals in the first game) and is headed to the Superelit quarterfinals (also a best of three).
Jasek, the Canucks prospect who bounces around more than any other, continues on his wild journey. The team he played with most frequently this season, Frydek-Mistek of the tier 2 Czechia league WSM-Liga, was eliminated a couple of weeks back. Jasek went to Trinec’s U20 team, where he obliterated the competition, scoring four goals and adding eight assists for 12 points in just four games. Trinec finally saw him worthy of a recall and brought him back to the Czech Extraliga, where he has played one playoff game so far.
In the NCAA, both Adam Gaudette’s Northeastern University and Will Lockwood’s Michigan University have been eliminated and thus their seasons are down. Both will return to college next season. Brock Boeser’s University of North Dakota lost in the NCHC finals last weekend, but they’ll take part in the NCAA tournament this weekend, trying to make it back to the Frozen Four.
Over in the CHL, all three leagues have completed their schedules (with the exception of one remaining inconsequential OHL game between Mississauga and Sudbury on Tuesday), and teams have paired up for the playoffs. Of all the Canucks’ CHL prospects, only Brett McKenzie will not be taking part, as his North Bay Battalion failed to make the cut. Here’s a quick rundown of the prospects’ upcoming opponents (with seeding in square backets):
- [4th] Charlottetown Islanders (Guillaume Brisebois and Carl Neill) vs. [13th] Baie-Comeau Drakkar
- [6th] Acadie-Bathurst Titan (Rodrigo Abols) vs. [11th] Quebec Remparts
- [8th] Chicoutimi Sagueneens (Dmitry Zhukenov) vs. [9th] Victoriaville Tigres
- [10th] Gatineau Olympiques (Zack MacEwen) vs. [7th] Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
- [4th] London Knights (Olli Juolevi) vs. [5th] Windsor Spitfires (Jalen Chatfield)
- [5th] Hamilton Bulldogs (Cole Candella) vs. [5th] Kingston Frontenacs
- [1st] Prince George Cougars (Tate Olson) vs. [8th] Victoria Royals
- [8th] Calgary Hitmen (Jakob Stukel) vs. [1st] Medicine Hat Tigers
Finally, here is the full schedule, with the green names denoting “if necessary” games: