Blackfish: Jonathan Lekkerimäki’s slow start, Elias Pettersson is still in the SHL, and Danila Klimovich’s third healthy scratch
Photo credit:Nick Barden
By Faber1 year ago
We are back with another Blackfish Prospects Report for the week that was in the land of Canucks prospects.
There were a few goals but not a ton of extremely interesting clips to delve into, to be quite honest.
Regardless, let’s get into the week that was for some of the top Canucks’ prospects.
Sweden always gets its own heading
Let’s start with the top prospect, Jonathan Lekkerimäki.
The 18-year-old had another quiet week this week in the Allsvenskan, though he did play a season-high 15:39 in their Friday game against Almtuna.
Lekkerimäki had two games this week and held a 56.8% Corsi through his 23:41 of even-strength ice time. He looked good in Friday’s game, completing 22 of 25 attempted passes through the game. After seeing time on the fourth line in Tuesday’s game, Lekkerimäki was back on the third line on Friday and was back on Djurgårdens’ second power play unit.
We talked with Djurgårdens’ General Manager K-G Stoppel on Friday about the talented wingers slow start to the season.
Stoppel believes that the summer was tough for Lekkerimäki as he had a lot going on in a busy time where he needed to train and add muscle. He called it “four months of not being able to develop and prepare” for this current hockey season.
The preparation that he needed to do for this season was affected by Lekkerimäki being at the summer World Juniors, the NHL combine, as well as the draft. Stoppel is very impressed with the skill but knows that the Allsvenskan is not an easy league and that Lekkerimäki needs to adjust to playing against men. Among other things, he wants to see Lekkerimäki work on his one-on-one battles.
Lekkerimäki is still very young, so there’s a lot of time for that development. Stoppel is excited to see Lekkerimaki add muscle to be able to have an even more lethal shot and play with more pace+strength in the men’s leagues. He looks strong in junior but needs to adjust.
As for being sick from mono, Stoppel believes that Lekkerimäki is now fully healthy from it but did suffer about two months of lost development due to the loss of muscle on a kid who was already in need of adding strength this offseason.
“He’s a young guy who needs muscle and definitely more pace,” said Stoppel. “These are things that he will need to work on in the summer and the preseason. He is going in the right direction, though. He is working hard and is very ambitious to improve.”
There’s a lot of work to be done with Lekkerimäki but his GM believes that he is still trending in the right direction.
In other Swedish news, right-shot defenceman Filip Johansson continues to impress with his play in the SHL. He had an assist in his only game played this past week.
Lucas Forsell was held off the scoresheet in two Allsvenskan games.
Elias Pettersson (D-Petey) played 6:44 in his one SHL game over the weekend.
Canadian Hockey Leaguers
We are seeing 2022 seventh-round pick Kirill Kudryavtsev continue to load up on points in the OHL. The left-shot defenceman had three assists over his three games in the OHL this week.
He’s moving the puck well in the OHL and is beginning to feel more confident about how and when to jump into offensive situations.
Goaltender Ty Young had a strong performance against the Victoria Royals — stopping 21 of the 22 shots he face in a 9-1 shellacking of the only Vancouver Island WHL team.
As for Connor Lockhart, the undersized winger had one goal in two games but remains well over a point per game in the OHL with 26 points in 21 games.
Linus Karlsson continues to prove that he belongs in North American pro hockey. The Swedish winger had a goal over the weekend and finished with 11 shots on goal over three AHL games.
As for Danila Klimovich, we saw another week where he was healthy scratched. There was some excitement from us as we saw Klimovich earn time on the first line to close out their mid-week game against Laval but he was right back in the press box on Sunday, when the Abby Canucks battled with the Toronto Marlies.
Klimovich has played in 10 AHL games this season and has a goal and two assists on the year. He has now been healthy scratched three times this year, matching the number of healthy scratches that he received during the 2021-22 season with Trent Cull as his coach.
We spoke with Klimovich’s agent Dan Milstein who told us that there is a development plan in place for his client and that Milstein is having weekly meetings with the organization to talk about Klimovich’s development.
Aidan McDonough had a goal and an assist in one game over the weekend.
Out in Finland, Viktor Persson is beginning to struggle to get ice time in Liiga, he played under 10 minutes on the weekend in his one Liiga game.
Joni Jurmo on the other hand, played 12:59 on Friday and 17:55 on Saturday in his two Liiga games this week. He was kept off the scoresheet and had pretty bad possession numbers, posting a 40.9% Corsi over those two games.
As we said at the beginning of this article, it was another slow week for the prospects but we will see what next week holds.
See you all next Tuesday!
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