Blackfish: Elias Pettersson’s busy week, Jonathan Lekkerimäki’s injury, and Connor Lockhart is leading the OHL in scoring
Photo credit:Nick Barden
By Faber1 month ago
Everybody is playing and with that, the Blackfish, our weekly Canucks Prospects Report, is going to be even more fun for me to write and hopefully, you to read!
We’ve given a lot of thoughts and opinions on the prospects since re-launching Blackfish, and now that we have so many prospects in action, we are going to focus on running through a ton of information and clips. We will obviously still give our opinions on certain players if they are trending up or down but for the most part, we feel pretty good about giving those updates in stand-alone articles. Blackfish is about what happened in the world of Canucks prospects, so we will lean into that more now that all of the (except the AHL) prospects are into their regular seasons.
When a prospect has a bad week, we’re surely going to comment on how they are trending but this article will be information and clip-focused.
That all being said, there will always be opinions and hopefully, we see some of yours in the comments section as well!
Alright, let’s get into the wild week that was for Canucks prospects!
The gOaHL prospects
We kick things off with a horrible heading but a great weekend for the Canucks’ two OHL prospects.
Let’s begin with 2022 seventh-round pick Kirill Kudryavtsev. The Russian defenceman scored a goal and added an assist during the OHL’s opening weekend. It’s Kudryavtsev’s sophomore season in the OHL after putting up five goals and 34 assists in 68 games last season with the Soo Greyhounds.
Here’s a look at the goal.
Here’s a look at the primary assist. He jumps into the rush, gets a shot on net and the rebound is buried.
The big story of the week also comes from the OHL.
Canucks 2021 sixth-round pick Connor Lockhart is leading the OHL in scoring after their opening weekend.
Lockhart was traded from the Erie Otters to the Peterborough Petes this summer and is making a huge impact with his new team. The Petes’ first game of the season was Thursday against his former team and Lockhart went off for three assists in the game.
From there, the Petes went on to play the defending champions of the OHL, the Hamilton Bulldogs, on Saturday. Lockhart had another three-point night, notching his first goal of the season and adding two assists in a big win for the Petes.
Lockhart was selected third overall in the 2019 OHL draft and couldn’t showcase his talents with Erie. During his two seasons with the Otters, the team lacked top-end talent and Lockhart was asked to do a lot of things that were away from his strengths.
If you want to have a positive spin on his situation with the Otters, Lockhart did learn how to be a better defender, improved on breakouts as a winger, and saw a lot of time as the number one trigger-man on the power play. Now, Lockhart is playing on a Petes team with a handful of drafted players on their roster, as well as some highly-touted 2023 draft prospects and he mentioned to us that they have two slots open to add 20-year-olds for a playoff run.
The change of scenery has already benefitted Lockhart and coming out of the first weekend leading the OHL in scoring is giving us high hopes for what Lockhart can do this season. He wants to earn a contract with the Canucks after this season and jump into pro hockey as soon as possible.
Lockhart should be a good source of clips and be featured in this weekly report a lot this coming season.
The Liiga boys
It was a busy week for Joni Jurmo in Liiga. The 20-year-old defenceman is now back to finding his rhythm in Finland’s top league after suffering an injury that kept him out of the opener last week. He played in three games last week and scored in Tuesday’s game against HPK.
Jurmo played 18:06 in that Tuesday game, he played 15:21 on Thursday, and 15:42 on Saturday.
There was a good little rush and shot on net from Jurmo during Saturday’s game that we clipped.
Jurmo continues to be used in a second/third pairing role and is showing well offensively in Liiga with a goal and an assist through six games.
As for the other Liiga defenceman, Viktor Persson, he had a quiet week this week with Jukurit. His Champions League game was cancelled because the opposition had plane troubles.
Persson appeared in three Liiga games, where he played 16:51, 14:21, and 13:24. There wasn’t a ton that stuck out in those three games. He appears to have found a home in Liiga with the Pelicans, and we’re happy that he is playing consistent minutes with his new club.
Here’s one shot on net from Persson that we thought we could highlight.
Sweden always gets its own heading
Let’s start with the bad news. The Canucks’ first-round pick and top prospect Jonathan Lekkerimäki suffered a wrist injury last week and missed his Saturday game in the Allsvenskan. His agent confirmed to CanucksArmy that the injury will not be long-term and that the reason for not playing was more precautionary than anything.
Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie and Dhali later confirmed that Lekkerimäki had x-rays that revealed nothing is broken.
We will have an update next week on if Lekkerimäki returned to his Allsvenskan team’s lineup or not.
UPDATE as of 8:46 am: He’s back.
Let’s talk about 2021 seventh-round pick, Lucas Forsell. The 19-year-old got back into SHL action this week after spending some time in the J20 league.
Forsell played for the J20 team on Wednesday and then hopped back into the SHL lineup for Saturday’s tilt with Timrå. He had 18 shifts at even-strength for 9:28 and didn’t see any time on the power play. Forsell had two shots on net in his nine minutes of SHL play.
We will show one of the shots that he had in the SHL game. It was somewhat of a scoring chance.
The Canucks’ top right-shot defence prospect Jonathan Myrenberg continues to be used as a bottom-pairing defenceman in Allsvenskan.
The 6’3″, 19-year-old got his first real taste of power play time on Friday. He played 16:16 during that game and saw 2:13 on the power play. Myrenberg also had a game on Wednesday and played 15:56 in that game.
Here are a pair of shots from Myrenberg’s two games this week.
A name we might begin talking about more is Filip Johansson.
He’s not your typical prospect, as the Canucks signed the 22-year-old, right-shot defenceman to an ELC back in June.
Johansson has a goal and three assists through six SHL games with Frölunda and is averaging 19:16 of ice time so far this season. His offence is looking pretty damn impressive in Sweden’s top league and we could see him in the AHL next season — bringing valuable depth to the organization’s right side.
Here’s a look at his howitzer of a slap shot goal from Wednesday. We’re going to be keeping a closer eye on his progression.
Finally, let’s talk about Elias Pettersson, who scored a J20 goal this weekend.
Let’s show the goal before diving into what was an extremely busy but also not very busy week for D-Petey.
We say it was busy because Pettersson dressed for five games this week. He dressed for three SHL games and one J20 game.
On Tuesday, Pettersson played 3:23 in an SHL game. On Thursday, he dressed but didn’t receive a shift in an SHL game. Saturday saw him play 2:32 in an SHL game. Then, he played a whopping 24:01 during his one J20 game — this is where he scored the goal shown earlier.
It’s nice for the 18-year-old to get some SHL experience while also seeing massive 24-minute games in the J20 league to stay fresh. The hope is that he can wiggle his way into more SHL minutes as the season goes on and we will be closely following to see if that occurs.
We watched Aidan McDonough and Jackson Dorrington play in their season opener on Saturday against Long Island University.
The much stronger Northeastern team should have run through LIU but Northeastern didn’t look great in a 3-2 overtime win.
McDonough is projected to be a leading man for the Hobey Baker award this season but didn’t find the scoresheet in his first game of the season. However, he moved well, looked confident, and was dangerous on the power play.
It was all we were expecting from McDonough aside from actually scoring a goal. We didn’t see him get any time on the penalty kill but he looked strong at even-strength.
As for the left-shot defenceman Dorrington, the Canucks’ 2022 sixth-round pick drew our attention from how physical he was during his NCAA debut.
Dorrington protected his crease well, between and outside of the whistles. He doesn’t like the opposition getting near his goalie and threw the body around more than we expected. He did a pretty good job moving the puck but didn’t necessarily have a great game overall. For him to look comfortable in his NCAA is good enough for us to call it a positive outing. We will be watching a lot of Northeastern this season and the first day was a decent but not great showing for both of the Canucks’ prospects.
That wraps up another Blackfish Prospects Report! Thanks for stopping by and let me know if there’s a player you’d like me to get in contact with for an interview or want to see more clips and information on a certain player.
Recent articles from Faber
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- ‘Young guys need to play’: Bruce Boudreau on Vasily Podkolzin and Jack Rathbone’s assignment to the AHL
- Canucks’ top prospect Jonathan Lekkerimäki enters concussion protocol, will miss time ahead of World Junior Championship