Canucks Prospect Rewind: Lucas Forsell continues to show well as a teenager in the SHL
Photo credit:@lucasforsell_ on IG
By Faber3 months ago
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It’s always a massive boost to your prospect pool when you can hit on some late-round picks and Vancouver Canucks 2021 seventh-round pick Lucas Forsell is trending towards being one of those much-needed hits.
Forsell is a 6’0″ right winger who took a small step back in his development last season but used it as a slingshot and made the most of his 2022-23 season.
Forsell is still just 19 years old and was the youngest player selected in the 2021 draft.
Coming into the season, Forsell’s goal was to become an everyday SHL player. He’s spent a lot of time working on getting stronger with the puck and having more of a focus on being a two-way player. The kid has a tremendous motor, forechecks hard with an active stick, and has good enough hands and vision to create scoring chances off of forced turnovers.
We liked Forsell’s skillset even before the Canucks drafted him in 2021. He was featured in one of our late-round targets articles before the 2021 draft. The parts of his game that we saw translatable to the NHL were the combination of his effort level and his good hands. He’s always been a good passer and this season, Forsell became a dangerous scorer. There was a time this season when Forsell has 10 goals in 22 SHL games and was the top-scoring U25 player in the SHL over that stretch
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows this season, though. Forsell was struggling to find SHL ice time back in October and was loaned to the Swedish second division so that he could get more ice time. He ended up getting much more ice time in the Allsvenskan and that helped him find his touch with the puck before returning to the SHL.
Then, when Forsell got back to the SHL, he exploded with three goals in his first three SHL games following the loan.
The Allsvenskan loan seemed to help Forsell figure out that though he is a skilled player and would likely be successful as a perimeter scorer, he will need to get to the dirty areas to maximize his potential and give himself a legitimate chance of being successful in North American professional hockey. Forsell is at his best when he is driving the crease and picking up loose pucks and finding the back of the net. His quick release and consistent accuracy when shooting make him a dangerous shooter when pucks are loose around the crease.
Our next clip here is basically a blueprint for how Forsell is going to have success. Using his good hands and quick release in a high-danger area on the ice.
When you go back and look at all of his goals from the 2022-23 season, he scores most of his goals within seven feet of the crease or scores by ripping one-timers during odd-man rushes.
We also saw Forsell have a great start to the playoffs. He had two goals and an assist in a 3-2 win to open the SHL playoffs and then followed that up with an assist in his second playoff game. He went quiet after that and his team was ultimately eliminated in seven games at the hands of fellow Canucks prospect and lifelong friend Filip Johansson.
In his final year of eligibility, Forsell was not selected to Sweden’s World Junior Championships team and if you saw Sweden struggle for offence in the WJC, you’d likely agree with us in saying that Sweden made a big mistake not giving Forsell a chance to play for his country.
Heading into the 2023-24 season, Forsell has put himself in a spot to begin the season as a 19-year-old top-six forward in the SHL and that’s a great thing, especially for a seventh-round pick. We expect to see Forsell getting power play time and using his quick hands in either the bumper position or potentially unlocking some of his playmaking as the left half-wall player. There shouldn’t be a loan this season, we expect him to spend the entire season in the SHL and likely spend the season as a top-six forward.
As for coming to North America, Forsell is waiting for the time to be right and the Canucks to be on the same page as him.
We predict that Forsell will play next season in the SHL but he doesn’t have a contract after that. The Canucks may push to get him to Abbotsford but it’s tough with Swedes because many of these later-round picks typically have a better life in the SHL than they would in the AHL. The question will be if Patrik Allvin and his development staff can convince Forsell that developing in the AHL as a 20-year-old is the best path for him to get to the NHL one day.
We expect to see Forsell play another season or two in the SHL and then come to training camp ahead of the 2025-26 season as a 21-year-old.
Predictions for the 2023-24 season
48 games played, 18 goals, 13 assists in SHL.
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