Blackfish: Elias Pettersson’s three-assist game, Penticton Young Stars, and a surprise in Finland
Photo credit:Nick Barden
By Faber6 months ago
We are officially off to the races regarding prospect coverage for the 2022-23 season.
The SHL, KHL and Liiga regular seasons are underway, Allsvenskan and NCAA get going in the next 10 days, and we just got back from the Penticton Young Stars Tournament.
Now that we have a lot of games to chat about, this Blackfish Prospects Report series will begin to be even more fun to write every Tuesday.
There are a lot of videos to get into as we recap the week for Canucks prospects, so, without further ado, let’s dive into what we saw this week.
The Return of Penticton’s Young Stars Classic
This past weekend saw the return of the Young Stars Tournament to the beautiful city of Penticton. The Canucks had good performances from some of their North American prospects who will be playing in the CHL or AHL this coming season.
We really liked the play of Arshdeep Bains in this tournament. He turned 21 in January and is set to debut with the Abbotsford Canucks this fall after leading the WHL in scoring last season.
Through the weekend, Bains was the most consistent player for the Canucks. He clearly has great hands and stuck out with his ability to handle pucks at full speed. He made all of the simple plays and worked hard to extend possessions in the offensive zone. Bains opened the scoring on the weekend for the Canucks when he drove the net and buried a goal against the top goalie from the AHL, Dustin Wolf.
The biggest takeaway from Bains’ game is how consistent he is. We saw it in development camp but it was on full display at the bigger stage during this tournament. He just seems to always be moving the puck in the right direction and found chemistry with whichever linemates he was playing with. There was also some bite to his game as he pushed away defenders and also threw some pretty big hits in the tournament.
Another player we liked was Linus Karlsson, who scored three goals in the three-game tournament.
There’s a lot more strength in Karlsson’s game than we originally thought. He is willing to drop the shoulder and lean on defencemen as he drives the net but also has the hands to be able to deke around the opposition as he crashes the crease.
We saw instant chemistry between Karlsson and fellow Swede, Nils Åman. Karlsson mentioned that the two have played together for Sweden in the past and liked skating with his fellow countryman.
Here are two of Karlsson’s goals from the tournament, the third goal was an empty-netter.
We will see what Karlsson can do at main camp but expect to see him be used as one of the offensive drivers in Abbotsford to start the season. It was good for Abbotsford Canucks Head Coach Jeremy Colliton to see what players like Bains and Karlsson look like in game-action and he liked what he saw from the two wingers.
Another guy that Colliton liked was goaltender Arturs Silovs.
The 21-year-old netminder had a 24-save shutout on Friday night and Colliton took notice of the strong play.
“I heard a lot of good things about him and he certainly delivered this week,” said Colliton when asked about Silovs’ play at the Young Stars. “He’s going to camp and [will] get a chance to show what he’s got there at a little higher level and he’s got to keep getting better.”
The final player of note from Young Stars is Danila Klimovich. There were a ton of takeaways from Klimovich’s three games. You saw some of the good, some of the bad and a bit of the ugly.
Klimovich was excellent on Sunday in their second game of the tournament. He had a great pass through the slot to Tristen Nielsen for a wide-open net.
There was an improvement with his defensive play as the tournament went on, and Colliton is going to need to spend a lot of time coaching and developing Klimovich this season. Coming in as an 18-year-old last season, there was a lot of time spent just making sure Klimovich was able to get comfortable in the AHL. This year, there needs to be more time spent coaching the bad parts out of Klimovich’s game.
He took a penalty early in the second period of the final game and wildly swung his stick just in front of a referee. These small bursts of emotion need to be controlled.
We saw flashes of excellence and overall, it felt like a good step in the right direction for Klimovich. He has so much raw talent and it’ll be up to the Abbotsford development staff to get the best out of the extremely talented Belarusian.
Sweden always gets its own heading
Let’s kick things off with Elias Pettersson, or as Quads calls him, RePetey. Pettersson played in two games last week — one in the SHL, and one in the J20 league.
Pettersson’s SHL appearance wasn’t great as he only had five shifts for a total ice time count of 3:10. He was quiet in the top Swedish league but shined when he went down to junior.
D-Petey had 19:51 of ice time in his J20 debut and had three primary assists in a 5-4 win.
Here are his three primary assists. And if he did the second one on purpose, it’s an incredible primary assist.
Filip Johansson had a good start to his SHL season. The 22-year-old, right-shot defenceman was signed this offseason and has a two-year deal with the Canucks but will be playing this season in the SHL.
He had an assist and five shots on net in a game that saw him total 21:16 of ice time. The craziest stat of his game was the 7:24 that he spent on the power play.
Here’s a look at Johansson’s assist.
We now move up ice to the Swedish forwards. We begin in the J20 league, where Lucas Forsell had three assists in two games last week.
Here’s a look at the three assists. Forsell (#56) has the secondary assist on all three goals.
To get more of a feel for how Forsell plays in the J20 league, here are his eight shots from last week’s two games.
We also have a couple of shots on net from Jonathan Lekkerimäki to show. He played in one preseason game with his Allsvenskan team this week.
Lekkerimäki’s regular season begins on September 23rd.
Here are his two shots on net that he had in a game where he played 14:11.
The Viktor Persson rollercoaster
After being a healthy scratch in the Pelicans’ first regular season game, right-shot defenceman Viktor Persson found himself on his Liiga team’s first pairing later in the week.
Persson played 18:00 in his Liiga debut and recorded one assist in the game.
Here’s a look at the assist.
Persson looked good when put into a big role with his new team and we will keep an eye on his progression as well as his ice time this season.
That wraps up this week’s Blackfish Report. We will be back next week to let you know how Lekkerimäki looked in his regular-season opener, how Forsell continues to play in J20/SHL, if D-Petey continues to put up points, and much more!
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