Blackfish: Elias Pettersson playing extremely well in the SHL, Lucas Forsell continues to score, and a Jonathan Lekkerimäki injury update
Photo credit:Nick Barden
By Faber20 days ago
We are all set for another weekly Blackfish Prospects Report.
Hopefully the Canucks can be active in the NCAA free agent pool over the next few weeks and bolster their pipeline ahead of this summer’s draft. We are on a game-by-game waiting period now where NCAA teams are in playoff mode and a loss means that the players with intentions of moving on to pro hockey can sign with teams.
We have heard that Jake Livingstone, Sam Malinski, and Ryan McAllister are three names to watch. J.D. Burke of EliteProspects has also mentioned Riese Gaber as a name to watch for Canucks fans. There’s some excitement surrounding those prospects as they seem to showcase enough talent to potentially hop right into the NHL. It’s been a strange couple of years in the NCAA, and it feels like due to COVID issues in 2021 and 2022, we are about to see a hell of a class go pro from the NCAA.
Let’s hope the Canucks can snag a few guys here in the next few weeks.
As for the current prospect pool, it was a solid week for the prospects.
Let’s hit it!
Sweden always gets its own heading
It was another hot week for Lucas Forsell in the SHL. The 19-year-old winger picked up a pair of goals and an assist over three games last week and is quickly becoming our bejewelled prospect.
The kid just keeps going to the net with his stick on the ice and has enough skill to make accurate deflections that find the back of the net.
We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but this type of off-puck offence is the type of thing that works so well with Canucks star Elias Pettersson. IF the Canucks are able to pick up an NHLer with a seventh-round pick it would exceed our wildest dreams of what we projected him to be when he was drafted. There was clearly a lot of skill and speed in his game when he was a 17-year-old freshly drafted kid, but now he is growing into a man and being rewarded for going to the net hard.
We had an interview with Forsell last week on Canucks Conversation and I highly recommend checking it out.
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Moving on to right-shot defenceman, Filip Johansson.
The 22-year-old had three games this past week. He picked up one assist and had a nice game on Saturday — playing 21:50.
Johansson is shooting the puck a ton and it is reflected in his Corsi, which is sitting at 53.4% over his past six games. Over those six games, Johansson has 30 shot attempts and had one game with eight shots on net over that six-game stretch.
He’s coming to North America next season.
The other Swedish defenceman of note is Elias Pettersson (D-Petey).
19-year-old Pettersson picked up a pair of assists last Tuesday in a game against OG Elias Pettersson’s former SHL team Växjö.
Picking up two assists is always great, but we dove into some of the analytics of D-Petey’s game last week and in a similar fashion to his play at the World Juniors, they were impressive.
Over his three games last week, Pettersson had a 53.7% Corsi and a 65% control of expected goals at five-on-five.
Pettersson continues to earn more ice time in the SHL and we will soon see what his role is in the SHL playoffs as they are just around the corner.
We also have a quick little update on Jonathan Lekkerimäki. We’ve been told that he is spending a lot of time in the gym and his recovery is going well. He is hoping to be back to full health by May or mid-April. His Allsvenskan regular season ends in early March and the expectation is that he will not return for the playoffs but there is still an outside chance.
OHL now gets its own heading
Oh yeah, it does.
With the addition of Josh Bloom, we are bumping up the OHL to get its own heading in the Blackfish Report.
Let’s kick things off with the aforementioned Bloom. He had two goals and an assist over the week. Friday night was an impressive one for him as he had eight shots on net and scored twice (one on an empty net).
Also, this is Josh Bloom.
Connor Lockhart picked up a goal and two assists over his three games this past week.
And his goal was a snipe.
Lockhart now has 41 points (16 goals — 25 assists) over his last 29 games. The kid is red-hot once again.
Rounding out the OHL trio is defenceman Kirill Kudryavtsev.
He picked up one assist over three games and had a great game on Saturday, posting as +4 on the night. We are excited to see what he does in the OHL next season. Kudryavtsev is now up to six goals and 39 assists this season through 59 games with the Soo Greyhounds.
Odds & Ends
Let’s just hit some quick highlights of last week.
Arturs Silovs was named AHL goalie of the month.
Linus Karlsson continues to score in the AHL. He is now up to 17 goals and 23 assists through 56 AHL games.
Also seen in that last clip is a wonderful primary assist from Arshdeep Bains, who has been heating up in the AHL.
Bains has five assists over his past four AHL games and got some high praise from Abbotsford Canucks General Manager Ryan Johnson.
Peep this thread if you want to see the full quotes from Johnson.
Aidan McDonough‘s regular season is over and he is now in the Hockey East playoffs. We went in-depth about that in THIS ARTICLE.
Finally, we do have an update on Jacob Truscott out of Michigan. He hasn’t played since January 21st and we were told that he likely won’t return for another couple of weeks — which makes it tough on Michigan, who is about to embark on their postseason play in the NCAA.
That wraps up another Blackfish Prospects Report.
We will see you next week to talk about everything that happened in the world of Canucks prospects.
See you next Tuesday.
Check out the YouTube version if you’d like! If we get positive reviews about the video, we will make it a weekly thing. If not, we won’t because this took way too long to do…
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