Blackfish: Canucks prospects’ playoff situations, Jett Woo’s resurgence, and Danila Klimovich’s impressive stat
Photo credit:Nick Barden
By Faber1 month ago
It’s playoff season for many of the Vancouver Canucks’ prospects.
With playoff hockey comes big moments and prospects rising to the occasion on their path to making it to the NHL. These games mean a lot and they are a final stamp on the season for a lot of these young players. Many of them will be moving on to new teams and this is their last ride. Case in point, Aidan McDonough.
We’ve seen some prospects be eliminated and their season end while others are moving on or toward the playoffs.
Let’s dive right in and see how the week treated the top Canucks prospects.
We will kick things off with the OHL prospects, who kicked off their playoff action over the weekend.
Connor Lockhart‘s Peterborough Petes and Josh Bloom‘s North Bay Battalion are into their playoff series’ while Kirill Kudryavtsev‘s Soo Greyhounds didn’t make the OHL playoffs.
Kudryavtsev won’t have any more games to talk about this season but we are damn excited to watch him next year. He finishes the 2022-23 campaign with eight goals and 42 assists.
Those 50 points are good enough for third in the OHL when it comes to defenceman scoring from a 2022 draft pick. Kudryavtsev is primed to be one of the most dominant offensive defenceman in the OHL next season and if he can live up to the bit of hype we are giving him, he could end up making an immediate jump to the AHL at the conclusion of his 2023-24 season.
The kid has good wheels, an accurate wrist shot and seems to possess a growing confidence that shines at the OHL level. Lots of good from the prospect, which is beginning to become expected from Canucks’ seventh-round picks.
Lockhart’s Petes are holding a 2-0 lead in their series against the Sudbury Wolves. Lockhart didn’t factor in to much of the scoring in the two tight games. He picked up an assist in Friday’s game two of the series as the Petes snuck out a 2-1 win.
Bloom has been the strongest performer in the early stages of the OHL playoffs, he tallied up two assists in a 4-3 loss on Sunday after picking up a goal in a 5-1 win on Friday. As you can tell, Bloom’s Battalion are split 1-1 in their series against the Mississauga Steelheads.
Both the Battalion and Petes have a decent shot at coming out of the OHL’s Eastern Conference. Both teams finished in the top-four of their conference and would sure be a lot of fun for us if they matched up in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Let’s begin with the 20-year-old winger Danila Klimovich. The offensive has slowed down lately for Klimovich but he did find the back of the net during Thursday’s game in Manitoba.
Klimovich forces a change of possession on the boards and then makes a pass back to the point and goes to the net. He then follows up his good decision-making with some nice hands around the crease and buries his 13th goal of the AHL season.
His decision-making and effort level are showing in his defensive play as well. Though the plus/minus stat is a bit broken, I think there should still be some excitement about Klimovich’s +14 rating on the season. He is in the top 50 of the AHL for plus/minus and the work he’s putting in is paying off. Klimovich was a -8 last season and maybe because of his improved 200-foot play, he will actually not be a healthy scratch in this year’s AHL playoffs.
Now onto the two red-hot prospects on the farm.
We’ve been talking about them weekly here on the Blackfish Prospects Report.
Forward Arshdeep Bains and right-shot defenceman Jett Woo.
Both of these players are 22 years old and both are playing the best hockey of their young careers.
Woo found the back of the net twice over the week. He kicked things off with a goal in Thursday’s game just days after taking the entire Abbotsford Canucks team to his family restaurant in Manitoba.
He then followed that up with an even nicer goal on Saturday afternoon.
We are at a spot right now where Woo playing in the NHL is just one more injury away. If the Canucks had some call-ups left, we wouldn’t have been surprised to see Woo’s name come up. This has been a great few months of progression for Woo, who we believed was very far away from being an NHL player at the start of the season. He’s made strong improvements to his game over the past few months and is looking very comfortable in the AHL.
As for Bains, he is just dripping with confidence lately. He has four goals over his last six games and is looking like a monster on the boards and in his own zone.
Bains is rounding out his game and building himself to become a bottom-six winger that you can trust. He’s still got a ways to go before he is an everyday NHLer but his recent play has us thinking he could fit in for an NHL game if an injury at the NHL level occurs.
Linus Karlsson picked up an empty net goal on Thursday, bringing his total to 21 on the season.
Aatu Räty is feeling more comfortable in the AHL. He has seven points over his last nine games.
Sweden always gets its own heading
We are in the second round of the SHL and Allsvenskan playoffs.
Jonathan Lekkerimäki’s team swept their opening series and began their second-round matchup on Sunday.
After scoring in both of his two games in the opening round, Lekkerimäki was held without a point in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss. He had four shots on net and was a +1 on the night.
After over a week off due to his team sweeping the opening series, this is going to be a busy week for the 2022 first-round pick. We will have a big update on Lekkerimäki in next week’s Blackfish.
Lucas Forsell was eliminated from the SHL playoffs at the hands of his childhood friend and fellow Canucks prospect Filip Johansson. Forsell’s offence dried up after the first two games of the series, he was held without a point in games three through seven.
On the other side of the ice, Johansson was shining offensively late in the series. He picked up a goal in game five and seven. Let’s check out his goal from game seven, as we had his goal from game five in last week’s Blackfish report.
Finally, Elias Pettersson is also off to round two of the SHL playoffs with his team Örebro.
He’s just not playing a lot and has averaged under a minute of ice time over the past five SHL playoff games.
This wraps up our weekly prospects report. As you can see, many of the prospects are starting to see their seasons come to an end. We will keep you posted with prospect updates when we get them but at this rate, we may only have three or four more Blackfish reports until we get into summer tournament season.
There will be no YouTube version this week. We hope to have enough clips to get into a playoff YouTube video next week.
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