Last week, we broke down our top ten list of Vancouver Canucks prospects after getting a good look at all of them at development camp out at UBC.
We gave detailed reports on each player and why they ranked where they did, but wanted to provide a handy list and summary for our readers all in one place.
So, without further ado, here is a complete summary of our top ten prospects list!
#10: Arturs Silovs, G, 21 years old, 6’2″, 200 lbs
Arturs Silovs is an athletic freak who showed well in limited time in Abbotsford last season. He was also loaned to the ECHL for 10 starts with the Trois-Rivières Lions.
This coming season could end up being another challenging one for Silovs but it feels like he has finished the steep part of his early career. Two seasons ago, Silovs played one AHL game through the COVID year and then he only got into 10 AHL games this past season.
Our resident goalie guru David Quadrelli believes in this kid, and so does Ian Clark.
Whose opinion carries more weight is up for debate.
#9: Linus Karlsson, RW, 22 years old, 6’1″, 194 lbs
After scoring 26 goals in the SHL and being ninth in scoring out of all the players in Sweden’s top league, Linus Karlsson is coming to North America and we expect him to play a big role in Abbotsford this fall.
There was a lot to like from Karlsson in our first in-person viewings of him at Canucks development camp. He clearly has good hands and possesses a shot that was elite in the SHL and will likely shine in the AHL this fall. We don’t have much doubt that he will have offensive success with Abbotsford this season.
We liked the hands, liked the shot, but do have some concerns about his foot speed. His agility shouldn’t cost him at the AHL level but it will need to improve before we can see him being successful at the NHL level.
From what we’ve seen at the SHL level as well as in development camp, Karlsson is going to play hard in the corners and he may surprise some people with how physical he can be.
If he can add some quickness to his feet, we could see Karlsson in the NHL as soon as this season. He’s got some very interesting skills and is a good development story to follow down in Abbotsford with Jeremy Colliton and his crew taking the reins from Trent Cull.
#8: Lucas Forsell, RW, 18 years old, 6’0″, 165 lbs
There are a bunch of reasons to be excited about Lucas Forsell.
He’s one of the cleanest players you will see as he didn’t take a penalty in 30 SHL games while being impressive on the forecheck and showing the willingness to impose his light body into the corners on much bigger defencemen.
The best traits in his game are the way he sees the ice and his ability to skate around defenders. Forsell is also not afraid to go to the dirty areas and often pays the price due to his lack of size and strength. It’s going to be a long road before we are talking about Forsell coming over to North America but that will give him a couple of years to really work on getting his body ready for the daily grind of AHL or NHL hockey.
We’re expecting a big year for Forsell, who really earned his coach’s trust after Färjestad made a coaching change in the middle of their season. The new coach used Forsell in top-six situations, gave him power play time and really allowed the teenager to flourish in a new role. There was a three-game stretch that saw Forsell score in each of those games recently after the coaching change.
7: Aku Koskenvuo, G, 19 years old, 6’5″, 181 lbs
Like Silovs, Aku Koskenvuo is an athletic freak and a true physical specimen who Ian Clark (and Quads) are both high on.
Koskenvuo had a sub-.900% save percentage in the Finnish J20 league this past season but that is a league that is bombarded with scoring chances. He did not allow a goal in his two games of international play with Finland’s U20 team. He’s hoping to be able to represent his country at this December’s World Junior Championships.
There’s just an incredible look to the stances of Koskenvuo. He covers up so much of the net and his extremely long legs make him a goalie coach’s dream to work with.
Keep an eye on this goaltender as he develops.
#6: Jonathan Myrenberg, RD, 19 years old, 6’3″, 200 lbs
Celebrate good times Canucks fans, we have a right-shot defenceman showing up on the top-10 list!
Jonathan Myrenberg played in 15 SHL games last season in his draft +1 season. These weren’t just dress and sit games either, as only one of the 15 games saw Myrenberg record under five minutes of ice time and he had a season-high on February 19th with 17:44 of ice time. From going back and watching some SHL tape of his, he falls back into his old habits of being a defensive defenceman and ultimately, this is how we view his best shot of becoming a pro player in North America.
When he arrived at the SHL powerhouse Linköping in 2019, he wasn’t sure what kind of defenceman he was but he knew that he could hold his own in the defensive zone. His junior play with Linköping’s J20 team has opened up his offensive game but in the limited SHL time, he rests his game on his laurels and plays a simple defensive game. Myrenberg is able to be very effective as a defensive defenceman because of his ability to see the ice and his size.
After watching all of development camp, Jonathan Myrenberg was by far the best defenceman at the camp.
Myrenberg will look to crack Team Sweden’s 2023 World Junior roster after getting the invite this past week.
#5: Aidan McDonough, LW, 22 years old, 6’2″, 201 lbs
As one of the standouts at Canucks development camp, this is Aidan McDonough’s year to turn pro.
After wrapping up his season at Northeastern University this year, McDonough says that he plans on signing with the Canucks and turning pro.
Our expectations for McDonough are sky-high after he elected to not go pro and instead go back for his senior season at Northeastern. He just finished second in the NCAA for goals with 25 in 38 games and our expectations for him have to be that he scores at least 30 goals and leads the nation in goals.
If all goes right for him this season, there’s a spot with his name on it to be an instant impact at the AHL level and he may even be given a shot to showcase how his talent stacks up in the NHL for a game or two.
#4: Elias Pettersson, LD, 18 years old, 6’2″, 185 lbs
Folks, RePetey is legit.
He was the best player on day one of Canucks development camp. We thought that he moved the best out of the defencemen and was physically dominant. As an 18-year-old kid, it was impressive to see him pushing around every single player on the ice during day one of camp.
We believe that there is bottom-four NHL potential to Pettersson’s game and it would be interesting to see if he is able to play the right side of the defence as a left-shot defenceman. This could be a spot where he really helps the team down the road.
All in all, there’s a lot to like about the combination of skating and physicality in Pettersson’s game. We will be keeping a close eye on him and hope to see a lot of minutes in the SHL this coming season.
#3: Danila Klimovich, RW, 19 years old, 6’2″, 205 lbs
Danila Klimovich is big, strong, and has a wicked release on both his wrist shot and slap shot. If you simply look at the highlights of this kid, you are taken by the strengths in his play. Klimovich is also able to throw the body around and use his size to be an impactful force with open-ice hits.
We see so much potential in the strengths of his game. He jumped into the AHL as an 18-year-old and scored a goal in each of his first two games. From there, expectations began to run wild about the teenager and excitement began to build about how quickly he could be in the NHL and begin to help on the Vancouver Canucks’ power play.
Even with all of his strengths, there are more worries that make us pause before pencilling him into the NHL lineup as soon as this coming season. Klimovich is very inconsistent with his shot at the AHL level. Though he is a standout in warm-ups and practice, he isn’t able to get the time and space that he needs during game-action. This limits his ability to maximize his best trait and we saw a lot of flubbed shots in the AHL this past season.
He’s a raw talent, but the upside is undeniable.
#2: Jack Rathbone, LD, 23 years old, 5’11”, 190 lbs
By now, you already know the strengths of Jack Rathbone’s game.
He is an above-average skater who has an excellent slap shot from the point and is able to make strong breakout passes. Rathbone came out of training camp as an NHL player but found himself being sent down to the AHL to work on the weaker parts of his game.
And after being over a point per game player with the Abbotsford Canucks this past season, the time is now for Jack Rathbone to be a regular with Vancouver.
#1: Jonathan Lekkerimäki, RW, 17 years old, 5’11”, 172 lbs
We’ve got a new king of the castle in the Canucks’ prospect pool. Jonathan Lekkerimäki is the top-dog prospect in the Canucks organization and there should be high expectations on what kind of NHL player he will be in a few years.
He is an offensive winger who can be a playmaker and a finisher. Our favourite part of Lekkerimäki’s game is the release on his shot. Though he is small in stature, he generates a ton of velocity on his wrist shot by leaning on the flex of the stick and having an incredible release at the end of his wrist shot.
Our projection for Lekkerimäki is that he will spend two seasons in Sweden before coming over to North America and jumping into the NHL for the beginning of the 2024-25 season. As much as we liked his willingness to push on his opposition in J20 or SHL play, this prospect is going to need some time to grow into a much stronger player before he can deal with the day-to-day grind of being an NHLer.
Honourable mentions: Joni Jurmo, Jett Woo, Mikey DiPietro, Daimon Gardner, Arshdeep Bains,