Canucks prospect Jonathan Lekkerimäki scores twice and surges to fourth in SHL goals

Photo credit:@orebrohockey on IG
Dave Hall
4 months ago
When it comes to scoring goals, Jonathan Lekkerimäki just won’t stop.
After being held goalless for nine games upon his return from an MVP-worthy World Junior showcase, the Canuck product has opened the floodgates and is scoring at over a goal-per-game clip over his last seven games.
With two goals on Tuesday – one being a game-winning shootout goal – the 19-year-old sharpshooter now has eight tallies across seven games and has catapulted himself well into the top echelon of SHL scoring.
The first came courtesy of a vintage Lekkerimäki release, setting up shop on the half-wall and delivering a labelled wrist shot to the top short-side corner.
If there was one thing that he has shown all year, it’s that his remarkable ability to catch goaltenders off guard with sudden juke-and-release shots is unparalleled and likely places him among the elite snipers in any league worldwide.
For skeptics who argue that many of his goals share a similar pattern, it’s noteworthy that only six of his 18 goals have been scored on the power play. While he typically capitalizes through his exceptional release, his ability to produce from varying angles and in even-strength situations has come a long way
With the game tied at two goals apiece through regulation, this one needed a shootout. As one of Örebro’s go-to producers, this is where Lekkerimäki earns his respect as an effective finisher and, on cue, he delivered when it mattered.
Opening as the first shooter, Timrå goaltender Tim Juel robbed him with a tremendous glove save.
After some back and forth, the shootout headed to extra innings.
For context, in international leagues, teams have the option to choose any player for subsequent shootout attempts after the initial three shooters have gone.
As expected, Lekkerimäki was sent for a second attempt, this time finding the post off of a far-side shot.
On his third attempt, however, Lekkerimäki got the last laugh, executing a slick drag move before snapping a shot to the far side, beating the netminder cleanly.
With Timrå failing to score on their final attempt, Lekkerimäki’s goal stood as the game-winner, securing a 3-2 victory.
For additional context, game-winning goals in the shootout count toward both a goal and a GWG on SHL ledgers, effectively giving him two goals on the day.
As the hero, he was awarded the “OBAB” helmet, given to the Player of the Game.
It’s been a remarkable journey for Lekkerimäki, establishing himself as one of the league’s top scorers in the 2023-24 season.
At just 19 years of age, he’s earned a place among elite company, both within his team and across the league, with 18 goals and 28 points.
  • Goals: First (18)
  • Points: First (28)
  • Even-strength points: Second (19)
  • Power play points: (tied) First (8)
  • CF%: Third (53%)
  • Goals: (tied) Fourth (18)
  • Game-winning goals: (tied) Second (6)
  • Leads all U24 skaters in goals and points.
Additionally, with six games remaining on his regular season schedule, there is one last accolade to keep tabs on.
In SHL history, he’s starting to creep toward the top among U20 goalscorers, which includes names like Elias Pettersson, Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund and Daniel Sedin.
Graph courtesy of Eliteprospects.com
It’s been reported that Patrik Allvin has suggested Lekkerimäki will focus on building strength over the summer and potentially join the organization for next year’s training camp.
However, it’s intriguing to think of the potential impact Lekkerimäki’s impressive production could have on Abbotsford’s struggling power play, as they gear up for their final push toward an AHL championship.
With the win, Örebro carries a three-point cushion within the SHL playoff picture. With six games remaining, plus a potential playoff run, the timeline of having him cross the pond this season, even hypothetically, is starting to lose runway.

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