Blackfish: Elias Pettersson continues scoring in J20, Aidan McDonough lighting up the NCAA, and Connor Lockhart near top of the OHL points list
Photo credit:Nick Barden
By Faber1 year ago
It was a busy week for Canucks prospects and a lot of them were busy putting up points.
I’ve been told by my editor to keep this under 1200 words but that’s not going to happen.
Especially if I write a long intro.
Which I’m not going to do.
CanucksArmy Blackfish Report, let’s get it!
OHL points explosion
It’s safe to say that Connor Lockhart is liking this past summer’s trade that sent him to the Peterborough Petes after a few tough years with the Erie Otters.
Lockhart has been lighting up the OHL in scoring and put up four points over his two games this past week.
The 5’9″ winger is starting to show why he was selected third overall in the 2019 priority selection draft.
Here’s a primary assist from Lockhart, as he picks up a loose puck and makes a great pass to Tucker Robertson.
Here’s a look at Lockhart’s goal from the weekend.
Lockhart is currently tied for second in OHL scoring with 10 points in just four games.
The kid is off to one hell of a start.
It wasn’t just Lockhart putting up points in the OHL. 2022 seventh-round pick Kirill Kudryavtsev has been good for the Soo Greyhouds this season and the Russian defenceman had one assist on Monday and brought his total to four points in six games on the season.
Sweden always gets its own heading
We joke about Sweden getting its own heading every week but this week it might need two separate ones. It was a huge week for Swedish prospects as we saw goals from a bunch of the prospects.
Let’s start with the player who is climbing our rankings at the highest rate.
Elias Pettersson, otherwise known as D-Petey, continues to dominate in the J20 Swedish leagues while also sprinkling in some time at the SHL level.
Pettersson averaged 22 minutes of ice time over two J20 games this past week. In those two games, he notched two goals and three assists. Those five points brought his J20 totals to three goals and six assists in six J20 games this season.
Here’s a look at Pettersson’s first goal of the week.
This next clip is the assist that he had in the game. His shot continues to do damage at the J20 level and we are liking the emergence of offence from the silky-skating Swede.
Pettersson saved his best for last.
He scored a game-winning goal in three-on-three overtime on Sunday with a burst through the neutral zone and a pretty finish.
This kid is impressing us a ton early on this season, and not just from his explosive scream that you can hear at the end of that clip.
As for Pettersson’s SHL play this week, he dressed for two games but only actually hit the ice in one of those games. On Thursday, he played 4:41 but didn’t see a shift on Saturday — dressing as the seventh defenceman in both outings.
From one defenceman to another, the ultimate prospect dream for Canucks fans would be to see these two players play for Sweden with each other at this year’s World Junior Championship. Jonathan Myrenberg found the back of the net for the first time in Allsvenskan play this week.
Myrenberg has been getting time on Mora’s top pairing and is seeing his minutes be around the 17-20 minutes range.
Here’s his goal from this week.
Next up is Lucas Forsell. It was a quieter week for Forsell, who only played in one game last week.
He skated in a Champions League game with his SHL team Färjestad and had four shots on net in 17:00 of ice time.
It’s nice to see the 19-year-old get more opportunities with his SHL team instead of just playing in the J20 leagues. He continues to show his potential with his skating looking like it’s taken a step in the right direction. He moves extremely well on the ice and continues to play extremely hard in all three zones.
Here’s a scoring chance from Forsell in the CHL game. He creates the chance by using his impressive speed.
Alright, let’s get to the big dog.
Jonathan Lekkerimäki had a heck of a week in the Allsvenskan league.
He kicked off the week with an assist on the game-winning goal in Tuesday’s game.
The youngster followed that up by turning on the jets (watch his burst of speed in this next clip), and scoring his first Allsvenskan goal.
This is what we love to see from Lekkerimäki. First off, it’s a goal at five-on-five — something we need to see more of from Lekkerimäki. Secondly, his willingness to drive the net has been in question, and in this play, he puts his head down at centre ice and goes hard to the net.
It was a well-deserved goal for the Canucks’ top prospect and we hope to see more plays like this as he continues to find a level of comfortability in the Allsvenskan league.
Lekkerimäki is still playing on the team’s third line but seeing a lot of power play time. His game sheets aren’t that impressive when it comes to minutes, as he’s only averaging 11:53 of ice time through five games this season. We hope that his production at evens continues and we see him get a chance to play up in the top-six with some better scorers soon.
Wrapping up our Sweden talk this week is defenceman Filip Johansson.
The 22-year-old right-shot defenceman has been quietly drawing a lot of interest from us as he continues to play big minutes in the SHL and be an offensive producer in his role with Frölunda.
He tallied another assist in Saturday’s SHL game and now has two goals and three assists in eight SHL games this season. On top of his SHL production, Johansson has been excellent in Champions League play as well.
During his CHL games, Johansson has one goal and four assists in five games.
Back to school!
Saturday was a big day for the Northeastern Huskies and two Canucks prospects. Freshman defenceman Jackson Dorrington had two assists in a 5-0 route of Vermont.
The early returns on Dorrington are good. He was drafted this past summer in the sixth round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and has stepped right into the Huskies’ defence corps. He’s very protective of his crease, is physical on the boards, and skates at an adequate level.
A Northeastern source told CanucksArmy that this kid doesn’t look like a freshman and that he is already making a good impact at the NCAA level.
Now for the big scorer of the weekend, Aidan McDonough.
After not scoring during the NCAA’s opening weekend of college hockey, McDonough went off for five points in two games this weekend. He had a goal in Friday night’s game — wiring a one-timer from the spot where he doesn’t miss.
Then, in Saturday night’s 5-0 win, he had an offensive explosion with two goals and four assists.
Here are his two goals from Saturday night.
After a quiet opening weekend, this past week puts McDonough near the top of NCAA scoring — a spot where he should be when we conclude this current NCAA season.
We saw one other Canucks prospect pick up a point this week in the NCAA. 2020 fifth-round pick Jacob Truscott snagged an assist in Michigan’s 7-4 win over Lindenwood University on Friday night.
Danila Klimovich scored a pair of goals in the Abbotsford Canucks’ scrimmage and earned some high praise from his head coach Jeremy Colliton, who also knows there’s a lot of work to do before we see Klimovich playing NHL games.
“He did a lot at 18 with a new culture and a new language,” said Colliton at the conclusion of Abbotsford’s training camp. “Hopefully, he’s done a lot of the heavy lifting already but it’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to just snap our fingers and he’s ready to play.
“It’s going to take time. There are going to be ups and downs and that’s just what it’s like. When you’re a young player, it’s a man’s league. You don’t just step in and dominate, so we’ll help him through that.”
Here’s his first goal from the scrimmage.
And the second goal.
We saw a quiet week for Viktor Persson, who appeared in three Liiga games but didn’t put up anything scoring-wise. He played 16:03, 11:18, and 11:36 in the three games.
Joni Jurmo played 21:40 in his one Liiga game this week and picked up the primary assist on the game-tying goal.
This wraps up our prospect report for the week.
We will be chatting with Connor Lockhart and Aidan McDonough this week. As well as hoping to get some other interviews done before next Tuesday’s Blackfish article.
See you then!
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