Photo Credit: Image: Bili Tyfri Liberec / Twitter

Champions Hockey League: Canucks Prospects on Day 1

Hockey season has arrived in Europe as the Champions Hockey League kicked off today.

The Champions Hockey League was launched prior to the 2014-15 season with 26 first tier teams from 5 leagues across Europe. The amount of teams and qualifications have changed over the couple of years with 32 teams now comprising the CHL. Wikipedia has the breakdown of how teams are selected:

Starting in the 2017–18 season, the number of teams will be reduced from 48 to 32, with 24 of the entries coming from the six founding leagues (Swedish Hockey League, Finnish Liiga, Swiss National League A, Czech Extraliga, German DEL and Austrian/international EBEL) and all berths will be earned through on-ice achievement: the “founding clubs” will no longer be guaranteed a place in the competition. A maximum of five teams from each country are permitted, with the entries allotted to each country according to a coefficient system (best two leagues get five berths, next two get four, last two get three). The remaining eight places will be given to the champions of the Norwegian, Slovakian, French, Belarusian, Danish, British and Polish leagues, as well as the champion of the Continental Cup. The teams will then be drawn into eight groups of four, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the knockout stage, which will be contested as two-legged ties until a one-match final.

In the first 3 years of the competition, the 26 founding teams had guaranteed spots in the group stage (“A license”). Additional teams from the founding league, that qualified based on sporting merits (“B license”) and the champions from other European leagues (“C license”) completed the field.

The SHL has dominated the Champions Hockey League with Frolunda winning the CHL title the last two years and Lulea winning it in 2014-15.

With that out of the way – it’s important to note that the Canucks are well represented this year with four prospects playing for teams in the CHL. All four of those prospects organizations was playing today.

Elias Pettersson (Vaxjo Lakers – SHL)

Pettersson had a noteworthy effort today notching the tieing goal late in the third period:

He had another great chance late in the game to win it for Vaxjo:

He started the game slowly, it looked like he was relying on his teammates to make plays but as the game went on, his confidence grew. He started to make the plays himself and clearly, it paid dividends. His on ice awareness became quickly apparent as he buzzed around the offensive zone.

Shortly after that chance late in the game, Pettersson waited to retrieve a puck to look at the clock. He was able to read how much time was left and slow the play down rather than rush the play. It was just another subtle glimpse into how aware the Canucks prospect is about everything going on.

He played LW on the first line during 5 on 5 play and was on the right point on the 1st powerplay unit.

He ended the game with 2 SOG in 16:17 of ice time.

Vaxjo defeated Bili Tygri Liberac 4-3 in overtime.

Lukas Jasek (Bili Tygri Liberac – Czech)

Canucks prospect Lukas Jasek made the move to Liberac in the off season and appears to be already getting more ice time. The lack of ice time with HC Trinec was a huge concern last season, so ideally he gets a larger role with his new Czech team.

Today, he skated on the second line and saw regular powerplay time. He ended the game with 11:31 of ice time and was +1.

He didn’t make any impact plays but his skating and puck handling were apparent.

Petrus Palmu (TPS Turku – SM Liiga)

2017 6th round pick Petrus Palmu did not dress for TPS today as he is still recovering from a knee injury that he suffered at the TPS Cup tournament last week.

It isn’t a major injury and he is expected to return within 1-3 weeks.

Palmu is still leading all SM Liiga pre-season scoring with 5 points (1-4-5) despite missing the last two games.

Kristoffer Gunnarsson (Frolunda – SHL)

Selected in the 5th round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Gunnarsson is a bit of a wild card prospect. Selected in his draft plus 2 season and already 20 years old, Gunnarsson is further along in his development then some of the other players mentioned above.

He doesn’t have a huge offensive upside but is a dependable, hard nosed defenceman who is positionally sound.

He had a couple good rushes throughout his game today. He doesn’t just toss the puck away, which is encouraging. Gunnarsson also directed quite a few shots towards the net with 5 shots directed towards the goal with 2 being blocked, 2 going wide and 1 hitting the net.

It’s even more impressive since he only had 6:18 of ice time. Frolunda won in overtime 5-4 over ZSC (Swiss).

Ideally, he will take a full-time role with Frolunda and run with it this season. The Canucks retain his rights for four years, so there is no rush on his development and he is likely best served playing in the SHL for the next couple of years.

All four of these teams play again on Saturday.

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  • apr

    Thanks! Petterson is going to be great. He really does look like a taller Datsyuk out there. Throughout the playoffs, the announcers were saying that noon wanted to touch Guentzel because he was too small. Well, look at him now. Petterson will be fine. I still think that JB would have traded down in the draft to get him, as Petterson was always his target. Petterson may have been in the conversation for top 2 picks if he did not injure himself in the last part of his season.

  • Lawd Stanley

    Hmmm, so we have had two top five pick opportunities in a row to address the most important position of need on the club, a top line center, and have chosen a defender and a left winger instead! Both of these picks also appear to be lacking in size, and fans are ok with this… baffling.

      • Lawd Stanley

        I’ve read Juolevi still isn’t ready and still needs to work on his physicality. Wondering why other D from 2014 onwards are already suiting up and Olli isn’t though. And where is the number one center, as Pettersson is playing as a small wingerfor club and country? Fed up of excuses and false dawns, need some answers here.

        • Fred-65

          Pettersson. Mein Gott, it’s a common practise to put young centres at wing as rookies. They don’t want to load them up with responsibilities that centres need to take. Don’t inhibate their skills and leave the defensive responsibility to a vet. Most teams do it and I’m glad his SEL team is doing the right thing for the youngster … and you should be too! I’m not sufre about Juolevi but I accept Salo’s assessment and he seems to endorse the kid…. good enough for me and it should be good enough for you.
          Prior to the draft I had it down to Mittelstad or Pettersson. Mittelstadt had the size and Pettersson more skill. For me it was either or. We can only hope Pettersson fills out …. most of us do 🙂

    • Doodly Doot

      Juolevi and Petterson are essential parts of any future Canucks team that might even look like a contender. They may become the best picks since the Sedins, which of course says a lot about the organizations ineptitude and faulty judgement over the last many years.

      • Lawd Stanley

        Still waiting for that number one center though Doodly, the most important need in the organisation for years since it’s clear Sedin is now done at the top and Bo is decent a number two, so where is he?

        • Bud Poile

          Hank was in on the team’s scoring race honours until the last game was played last season.
          Saying “it’s clear Sedin is now done” is hypocritically ignorant.
          Pettersson is a C/LW.
          You don’t like the pick.
          You don’t like Benning.
          Tough.Suck it up.

          • Lawd Stanley

            S*ck my balls, areyou really that dumb? I’m looking for a top line center to replace Henrik, Petersson is playing as a winger for club and country so it isn’t him… so where is the top line center every top team and contender has?

          • Bud Poile

            If you hadn’t sucked your own balls right off and paid attention instead posters here wouldn’t have to listen to your endless whining under ten different user names.
            Grow another pair.
            Stop sucking.

        • Killer Marmot

          Horvat had 52 points last year, and is only 22 years old. If he continues to improve so that he gets over 60 points a year, well those are first-line numbers.

        • Bud the Dud

          Lol nice job of a$$kicking our resident no-life troll Lawd S. Take no notice of this pathetic pos – his only agenda is to troll us with ridiculous statements to distract away from the reality of the LinBenning sh*t show that has made our club the worst in the league over the last few years.

          As for your astute comments, correct, there is no succession plan to Henrik Sedin and that’s why Benning will be fired very soon – be patient blood, it’s a comin!

          Bud Poile fu0k off back to Thailand with all the other sad losers who can’t get decent Canadian woman. We don’t want you here, salad to$$er.

          • Bud the Dud

            Listen to the hypocrisy of this clown.

            YOU are the only user ever who has been asked by staff to leave and not come back but here you are all day everydaymaking the site sh$t.

            YOU are the serial troll user with over 15 accounts who thinks it’s funny to insult users, staff and JD’s and Jacksons mental health.

            I’m gonna make your life hell here like you have others until you are banned you sad pos ba$tard.

          • Psych_Major

            Utterly fascinating, The solution is incredibly simple, CA admin take note. You simply set your scripts to ban the ip address of poster Bud Poile and all his multiple accounts will magcally disappear I guarantee that the site will then be returned to normailty. This user has to be banned. He has been asked to leave by Jackson McDonald and openly insulted him and JD Burke’s mental health… how can this not result in a ban?

            In the profession, we call this common sense and the quickest simplest solution.

    • Killer Marmot

      Centres do not always play centre at all times, particularly in tournaments and such. I don’t know if you knew that.

      Plus, Petterson is 6’2″. He is not liking in size. He is kind of scrawny right now, but that’s normal for 18 year old athletes.

  • surreal78

    Ryan – another excellent article, and many thanks for your taking the time to post it in these dog days of summer.

    Regarding moderation — I read CA daily, but comment *very* rarely. The comments section of this site has basically become unbearably obnoxious to read. A waste of time and space for everyone involved. It would be wonderful to see the Nation Network and/or CA’s staff do something about the constant trolling and sock puppet accounts on here. It’s negatively impacting the experience of authentic & regular site readership who generally enjoy the posts and legitimate commentary, and that can’t be good for business.

    Having personally run a large community site that had several tens of thousands of users in the past, it’s really not that hard to properly handle moderation, it just takes some effort and consistency. If you guys need some help or advice, feel free to hit me up — my email is on my account.

    • Peter Niss

      Same here surreal78, long time reader but rarely comment these days. I think you will find that it’s just one or two users under multiple accounts trolling the site, the worst offenders being Bud Poile and truthseeker as pointed out by site management. If you rid the site of those two users by blocking their ip addresses like CA does when filtering posts containing ethnic slurs and foul language, this would be the best way to rid the site of these types once and for all.

      surreal78 what is your email, i would like to chat about this more in private with an obvious expert like yourself?…

      • RoCkFaThEr

        Long time reader?
        Bud Poile and Truthseeker trolls?
        How many paint chips did you eat as a kid?
        I know bud has had his problems with this site, and it’s well-known how much he is displeased with Mike Gillis.
        However, I agree with about 60% of the things that he says in his posts.
        Truthseeker, I can’t off the top of my head think of one thing that this person has ever said that is worth calling him/her a troll.
        You on the other hand, be careful what you wish for.
        If C.A. cleans up you won’t have any forum to spew you’re B.S….
        I wish there was a block function on this site

      • Missing Kes

        Some good comments about this and i agree that all CA has to do is ban the Bud Poile ip to solve this issue. He is the main antagonist. He is the one who has been called out by the site managers and he is the one that has caused all the escalating anger by trolling and winding everyone up with his ignorance and arrogance.

        It’s simple surgery, to cure the problem you cut out the cancer. Bud Poile is the cancer of CA and has been for a very long time. Get it sorted JD Burke!