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Photo Credit: NHL.com

World Junior Summer Showcase: Sweden vs Finland

The final day of the World Junior Summer Showcase saw bitter rivals Finland and Sweden square off in the first game of the day.

Both teams had lost to Canada and the US, so there was already a sense of anticipation as both didn’t want to leave Plymouth without a win. Any game between the two Scandinavian nations is worth keeping an eye on. Two teams that are loaded with skill that don’t care for each other. Yes, it’s August hockey but it was still a great game.

Canucks prospect Elias Pettersson was moved back to usual position flanking Lias Andersson after playing centre in Sweden’s last game. The full Swedish roster is below:

Image: Adam Kimelman / Twitter

Team Finland countered with the following roster:

Image: Adam Kimelman / Twitter

Urho Vaakananinen was a scratch after suffering an injury against the US yesterday. Swedish defenceman and top prospect for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft Rasmus Dahlin returned to the lineup after missing the last week with an illness.

Highlights

Notes

  • The trio of Tim Soderlund, Oskar Steen and Isac Lundestrom were fantastic for the Swedes. Steen was the obvious headliner with his four goal performance but most were results of the 2018 draft eligible Lundestrom.  The trio combined for ten SOG and five of the six goals. Lundestrom is a player to keep an eye on this year, he is already a first round talent but could push up into the top 10.
  • Robin Salo was rightfully earning some praise from the TSN broadcast. He continued his solid two-way play, looking calm and collected throughout the entire tournament.
  • From a Canucks perspective, 5th overall pick Elias Pettersson had an unremarkable performance today for Sweden with his only notable chance below:

  • Pettersson just hasn’t been able to showcase his high-end skill. I would still expect him to make the Swedish roster for the World Juniors in Buffalo.
  • Montreal Canadians prospect Joni Ikonen ended the day with a hat trick with all three goals showcasing his shot. He averaged 3 SOG/GP over the course of the past week. If he continues to focus on shots and relentless work ethic, he will overcome the size concerns.
  • New Jersey’s 2017 2nd round pick Jesper Boqvist is a player that Canucks Army was fond of and he showcased why. He has some serious wheels that forces defenders back. Ideally, he will be able to round out his offence but Craig Button mentioned that Carl Hagelin is a good comparable player to the young Swede.
  • That pass by Brannstrom on Steen’s second goal was something else. Brannstrom continues to receive praise from the broadcast for all the things he does well. Which includes his skating, puck movement, and work ethic.
  • Hurricanes prospect Janne Kuokkanen continued to show his high end hockey sense.
  • The Rasmus Dahlin hype is warranted. He just does everything so well and all the time. He led all defenceman in this game with four shots on goal and making crisp tape to tape passes. Obviously, since it his draft year, scouts and analysts will look for flaws in his game but he has the makings of a #1 defenceman for many years to come. It’s fair to expect him to be a lock for the Swedish World Junior roster this fall where he will be a focal point for hockey fans all around the world.
  • Sweden finished with a 1-3-1 record, while Finland ends their showcase with a 0-3-2 record.

Full stats for this game can be found here.