Blackfish: A Klimovich, Räty, Bains, and Woo update, an offensive week for Filip Johansson, plus a Lucas Forsell goal
Photo credit:Nick Barden
By Faber7 months ago
After a couple of weeks off, we are back with the weekly Blackfish report.
It’s time to see what happened over the last week in the world of the Vancouver Canucks’ prospects.
We’ve got a lot to get to, so, let’s not waste any more words and instead, get right to the prospects.
Sweden always gets its own heading
We will kick things off with 22-year-old, right-shot defenceman Filip Johansson. It was a strong offensive week for Johansson, who had three assists through three games. He had two assists in a 6-1 win on Thursday and one assist in the 7-6 overtime win on Saturday. Through the three games, Johansson had 16 shots on net and played over 20 minutes in each game.
Two of the three assists were primary assists and we will get to them in just a second.
His primary assist in overtime (second clip) was a tremendous stretch pass when he recognized the opposition making a line change and quickly pushed the play up-ice with a tape-to-tape stretch pass. These types of plays make us excited about what could come from Johansson.
Johansson is fourth in the SHL for U24 defencemen scoring with five goals and 14 assists through 44 games. He is averaging 20:55 of ice time per game through the SHL season and is primed to come over to North America and begin his play with the Canucks — will it be Abbotsford or Vancouver will be the question.
We think it’ll be Abbotsford to start.
19-year-old winger Lucas Forsell scored another SHL goal. It was Forsell’s sixth goal since he was called up from the Allsvenskan 18 games ago.
The kid is still working to get top six minutes but is playing well defensively in his bottom six role and is continuing to see his power play ice time rise throughout the year.
He’s got another year on his SHL contract and says he still has a lot to improve on before he comes to North America, but his goal has always been to play in the NHL.
After offseason shoulder surgery, Hugo Gabrielson has now played 29 games in the Allsvenskan this season. The 20-year-old left-shot defenceman picked up an assist on Friday and now has a total of four assists on the season. We will need to see more offence from Gabrielson to really get excited about him.
Finally, it’s time for Elias Pettersson. D-Petey has been playing well over the two-week break we had from the Blackfish Report. Over his last six games, he is a +8 and picked up an assist in a 3-2 win on Saturday.
The recently turned 19-year-old continues to grow his ice time in the SHL and is on the path to be one of Sweden’s top defencemen at this year’s World Junior Championship.
Winger Aidan McDonough captained his Northeastern Huskies to a Beanpot Tournament win last week. He scored the tournament-winning shootout goal. It was the first shootout final in Beanpot history and Mcdonough rolled through the tournament and led the way offensively.
McDonough is now up to 19 goals and 16 assists through 29 games. He is 16th in the NCAA for points per game and tied for sixth in goals.
Our latest update is not much of an update. McDonough is focused on his season and we aren’t 100% sure that he will sign with the Canucks or explore free agency once he season concludes.
Now, to the backend, where Jacob Truscott has been absent from action since the end of January. He was on a roll prior to his injury.
Truscott had three goals and two assists over his three games prior to the injury.
A quick mention for Jack Malone — who has fallen off our lists since his draft year. Malone was a 2019 sixth-round pick of the Canucks and is now up to seven goals and seven assists through 27 NCAA games with Cornell.
He has three goals over his last four NCAA games. Here’s his two-goal night against Colgate from a couple of weekends ago.
Odds and ends
20-year-old Finnish defenceman Joni Jurmo picked up a pair of assists on Saturday in Liiga.
It was good to see Jurmo show his strong skating on these two assists. He will need to lean on that skill to be successful in North America.
We would bet that Jurmo is with the Abbotsford Canucks in the AHL next season.
Connor Lockhart is on a five-game point streak in the OHL. His Peterborough Petes have loaded up for a chance at a Memorial Cup run and this has boosted Lockhart’s offence.
He has three goals and three assists over his last five OHL games and is up to 62 points in 51 games this season. That’s 22nd in the OHL for points.
It was another slow week for Aatu Räty. The 20-year-old was held off the scoresheet over four AHL games. He spoke candidly about his play on Monday, saying, “I’ve been playing horrible.”
There’s a lot of skill there but this transition to the Canucks has not been an easy one for the kid. Our expectations are low until he gets more settled in and is able to get some valuable practice time. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks for the kid who just made the jump over to North America earlier this season.
Gone are the days of talking about healthy scratches for Danila Klimovich. The 20-year-old winger picked up a goal and an assist through four games.
We did see his emotions get the best of him a few times over the week. This disappeared from his game for a while but has returned and cost the Canucks a bit. Klimovich has taken seven minor penalties over his last seven games. It might be a good idea to get someone like Sergei Gonchar out there to work with this kid for a little while to get him back to earlier in the year when he was seeing a lot of offensive production as a result of good process in the first two zones.
We continue to be impressed with Arshdeep Bains in his rookie AHL season. The 22-year-old picked up a pair of assists over the past week.
You can see his assists above in the Klimovich section. Here’s a look at another good pass that led to an assist.
Bains is up to 24 points in 46 games and does a lot away from the puck that we love to see.
He hasn’t been featured in Blackfish for a while, but we should give Jett Woo a shoutout.
It looks like Woo is playing the best hockey of his career over the past few weeks. He’s activating in the offensive zone and has earned himself a spot on the second power play unit. It looks like Woo is playing with some confidence and it’s showing up in both the offensive and defensive zones.
There’s still a big worry about his skating limiting his chances of playing in the NHL. He’s moving well at times but there are other occasions where he is beaten wide by quicker AHLers in even-man rushes against. At times he is using physicality to defend the wide angle on rush defence and that has been going well for him. He’s not too aggressive when getting physical but it’s just enough to disrupt a shot attempt.
We will see where it goes but this has been some of Woo’s best play as a pro.
That wraps up our Blackfish Weekly Prospects Report for this week. After a couple of weeks off to work on our top prospects list, we will be back weekly with an update from around the world on what has happened to the Canucks’ prospects.
If there’s a prospect you’d like to hear about or hear from, let me know in the comments.
See you all next week!
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