Canucks right-shot defenceman Jonathan Myrenberg has bulked up and is ready for increased ice time with a loan to the Allsvenskan league this season
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By Faber1 year ago
One of the initial takeaways we had from day one of Canucks development camp was the silkiness in Jonathan Myrenberg’s game.
The big, right-shot defenceman spent most of last year in Sweden’s top J20 league while getting a short, 15-game run with Linköping’s SHL team. His stint in the SHL wasn’t just as a warm body, he actually had six games where the teenager surpassed 10 minutes of ice time and had a season-high 17:44 of ice time on February 19th.
Myrenberg is arguably the top right-shot defence prospect in the system and it means a lot to him to finally be in Vancouver and dawning the blue and green.
“I was really hoping to get there last year but you know, COVID and all that,” Myrenberg told CanucksArmy. “It feels really good to be here. I am meeting new guys and seeing some really good players. The whole thing feels really good.”
One of the first thoughts we had at training camp was who the big right-shot defenceman wearing number 67 was. We’ve seen Myrenberg in the SHL as well as J20 games and he didn’t look this filled out like the player we saw on the ice on day one of camp.
“I’ve put on some muscle, I’ve been talking a lot with my physical coach at Linköping, and he is great,” said Myrenberg. “When I got there, I was really skinny. Now I’ve got some tips on what and when to eat, stuff like that.”
We liked the Myrenberg pick back in 2021 when the Canucks selected him with their fifth-round pick. He was a defenceman who had good traits in his own zone but didn’t show a ton of offensive flash in his game. We noticed a much more confident puck-mover in just one practice at UBC. Myrenberg was one of the players who did a good job receiving passes and didn’t need to break stride during drills. His hands looked smooth and he was one of the players who really looked like they were in the upper echelon in the early stages of development camp.
After coming to the Linköping organization in 2019, his game began to flourish under a higher level of development and coaching. He spent the past three seasons with their J20 team and was trusted enough to be relied upon in a pinch for those aforementioned SHL games that he played this past season.
When he first began training with the Linköping group, he wasn’t sure what type of defenceman they wanted him to develop into. He was a quiet defensive defenceman who made the simple plays. Now, after being given some guidance and confidence, Myrenberg found his weaknesses, worked at them and is starting to look like a prospect of note for the Canucks.
“When I got to Linköping, I didn’t actually exactly know my role. I didn’t know if I was going to be an offensive defenceman or a defensive defenceman so I was trying to just find my role. I was able to find my weaknesses and that weakness was my shot and also me needing to be more aggressive in the offensive zone. So I worked on that for like three years, I have been focused on improving my shot. I’ve come a long way. I was shocked when I got to Linköping, my shot was all over the place. Now, I feel like it’s pretty accurate. It might not be the hardest but I feel like accuracy has improved a lot.”
His shot looked like it had some real pop off the blade compared to the rest of the defenceman and his big body seems to be helping him with the pace as we saw some good juice behind the puck on day one.
Myrenberg didn’t look out of place in the SHL this past season but was still unable to put up any points in his 15 SHL games. In the J20 league, he was much more of an offensive contributor — putting up eight goals and 23 assists in 35 games. His play earned him some opportunities with some international teams and he did impress throughout those outings. He’s not going to make the cut for the World Juniors this summer but should be at least on the radar for the team in December.
He enjoyed getting the opportunity to play against men in the SHL but also believes there was a good balance to his season as he was able to play a ton of minutes in the J20 league. There were some J20 games where he was over 31 minutes of ice time this past season.
“I was hoping for SHL games last year and I got some,” said Myrenberg. “I didn’t know how many minutes I was going to get but looking at my time in the SHL while complimenting it with the minutes I got in the juniors — I feel like it was a really good combination for me. I was able to feel the high-level hockey in the SHL while I was still getting more ice time in the juniors.”
His offence really shows in the J20 league, where he is confident and willing to go to the net on back door attempts where he fires his accurate shot into he back of the net with regularity. Here’s a look at 11 of his goals in the J20 league as well as some international play.
It would be a big win if he is able to skate with the Swedish world junior team in December but it’s going to take a strong performance to begin his Allsvenskan season next year to get noticed. When asked about him being loaned to the Allsvenskan next year, Myrenberg looks forward to the added responsibility and ice time while still competing at a high level of hockey.
”I’ve been loaned to the Allsvenskan next year to play,” said Myrenberg. “I’m going to be getting some more ice time and a bigger role. Linköping couldn’t guarantee me a role that I wanted, so they’ve both parts wanted to get me to Allsvenskan to get a much bigger role.”
When it comes to next season, Myrenberg is looking forward to having a former NHLer like Mikael Samuelsson to lean on for advice. The added communication makes him feel like he is more a part of the Canucks organization.
“It’s really good to have someone watch a little bit closer,” said Myrenberg. “It will be good to have someone to talk to more often. It’s good because you feel more secure in the organization with someone helping like that.”
The Canucks will have a few players competing in the Allsvenskan next season and we will surely be keeping an eye on Myrenberg as his season goes on. The Canucks went through the 2022 draft without selecting a right-shot defenceman, and that forces us to keep an even more keen eye on prospects of this position if there looks to be something to get excited about.
Myrenberg was one of the standouts of the first day of camp and we are excited to watch the right-shot defenceman work as the week goes on.
We are expecting a scrimmage on Thursday and should see the intensity begin to crescendo its way up as the camp inches towards the scrimmage. For now, we really liked what we saw from Myrenberg on day one of camp and he looks like he’s added some size to be more effective as his pro career continues over in Sweden.
Day four of training camp gets going today with a scrimmage set to take place today. The skates are unfortunately not open to the public but we will bring you video and instant analysis here at CanucksArmy.
We broke down day three of Canucks development camp in the video below!
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