Elias Pettersson and Lucas Forsell win gold, Dmitri Zlodeyev continues to score, and more in Blackfish: CanucksArmy’s Prospect Report
Photo credit:Nick Barden
By Faber7 months ago
Though it’s a slow news week for the Vancouver Canucks, my hockey-watching week was busy with the Canucks’ prospects starting to be very busy overseas with the 4-Nations tournament, Finnish Liiga preseason action, Allsvenskan play, as well as OHL training camps kicking off.
We have a lot of prospect talk to get to so let’s dive right into this week’s CanucksArmy Blackfish Report!
You can scroll to the bottom and watch the YouTube video if you are feeling lazy and want to listen to me talk it out instead!
Sweden always gets it’s own heading
Let’s kick things off with the two Canucks prospects who were participating in the 4-Nations tournament last week in Finland. This tournament is typically used as a summer prep tournament for European teams to see what their best U20 players look like. We have seen Vasily Podkolzin and Dmitri Zlodeyev play at this tournament in recent years.
This year’s tournament featured Slovakia, Czechia, Finland, and Sweden.
Lucas Forsell and Elias Pettersson represented Sweden on the tournament-winning team. The highlight of the tournament for Canucks fans was when Forsell and Pettersson combined on a goal against Slovakia.
Pettersson wasn’t done there as he ended up adding a second goal in the game.
The offensive production didn’t end there as Pettersson made an excellent breakout pass to secure a primary assist later in the game.
This was the best game we have ever seen from Pettersson. All throughout the tournament, Pettersson impressed us with his offensive play. He was willing to jump into the offence and did an excellent job of finding open ice to get shots on net.
His defensive game was strong throughout the tournament and a lot of that was because of his strong skating. When you move like Pettersson does and have the strength that he demonstrates, it makes you a powerful defender in U20 play.
After a strong showing at the 4-Nations, we expect Pettersson to be even more on the radar for Sweden’s World Junior Championship team this December. At just 18 years old, he is eligible to play this December as well as the 2024 tournament. Pettersson is now back with Örebro in the SHL and will be fighting for ice time this season but should be the number one defenceman for the J20 team if he is sent down to juniors.
As for Forsell, he had a lot of dangerous shifts for Sweden. He was used on Sweden’s top line as well as the top power play unit. He is eligible for two more World Junior Championships and both of the prospects are showing well when they play with Sweden’s U20 teams.
Next up for Tre Kronor is Jonathan Myrenberg, who was not at the 4-Nations tournament and instead was playing for his Allsvekan team in preseason action. Myrenberg moved up to the top pairing for Mora IK and is rapidly moving up the lineup for the team that he is loaned to this season.
He is playing more than 20 minutes a night and seeing time on both the power play and penalty kill. Here are a couple of shots on net during his power play time.
We have an update on another right-shot defence prospect of the Canucks out of Sweden. European free agent Filip Johansson is playing preseason games with Frölunda and this indicated to us that there’s a good possibility he is staying in Sweden to play this coming season. Johansson attended Canucks development camp and may end up in Whistler for training camp as well.
It’s not known for sure and we will look for confirmation but I’d doubt we see Johansson at the Young Stars tournament in Penticton. The SHL season begins on September 17th and the Young Stars tournament begins on the 16th of September. We will look for clarification but are beginning to believe that there is a strong possibility that Johansson will be in the SHL this coming season.
Wrapping up the Sweden talk, we saw the Canucks’ top prospects, Jonathan Lekkerimäki back with Djurgärdens this week as they prepare for their Allsvenskan season.
Lekkerimäki played in an Allsvenskan preseason game against Västerås. Lekkerimäki had 11:15 of ice time and had four shots on net in the limited ice time.
Here are his four shots on net. Yes, I’m aware the last one was from outside of the offensive zone and doesn’t belong in a typical highlight reel…
Two defence prospects battle in Finland
A couple of weeks ago we reported that right-shot defenceman Viktor Persson has joined the Pelicans in the Finnish Liiga. Last week, his Pelicans faced off against Joni Jurmo and his Jukurit team.
Both the defencemen were playing on the third pairing and didn’t amount to much in their big Canucks prospect matchup during preseason play.
It is promising to see Persson getting a spot in the Pelicans lineup and if he is playing consistent minutes, it at least gives him a chance to continue his development. It wasn’t a great year for him last year in the WHL and he is one season taken away from playing less than 30 games in the 2020-21 due to a cancelled season and other cancelled games from COVID-19.
We will keep both Persson and Jurmo in the mix for prospect updates but they will need to climb the lineup on their Liiga teams before we start to get excited about these defence prospects.
Zlodeyev is still scoring in KHL preseason games
Every week we will have a ‘Sweden always gets its own heading‘ in these Blackfish articles but it seems like Dmitri Zlodeyev scoring in KHL action might be a regular occurrence as well.
The 20-year-old prospect is still scoring goals in KHL preseason action with Spartak. He is being used as a right-winger and has worked his way into being a power play piece for Spartak in the preseason. He is playing the right half-wall and scored a goal with the man-advantage last week.
Though Zlodeyev has always been a centre, he is playing on the third line as a right-winger in the preseason. His preseason production is going to be hard to ignore when Spartak begins to put together a regular season lineup.
Spartak’s first regular season game is on September 2nd and from all we’ve seen in the preseason, Zlodeyev has earned a spot in the KHL lineup.
The two OHLers
The Canucks have three prospects who will be playing in the CHL this season. They have goaltender Ty Young in the WHL as well as two OHLers in Connor Lockhart and Kirill Kudryavtsev.
We were supposed to chat with Lockhart this weekend but couldn’t find a time that worked. Instead, we will chat after the first training camp with his new team, the Peterborough Petes. Lockhart needed a change of scenery after a season that had to be difficult on his last year with the Erie Otters who are in a down cycle as an organization and look like they are in a rebuilding phase.
The upcoming interview with Lockhart should be a good one as he has been given a fresh start for the 2022-23 season and wants to become one of the more potent scorers in the OHL. His Petes team is filled with top-end talent a Lockhart should be one of the top scorers of what is expected to be a very strong OHL team this season.
As for Kudryavtsev, we spoke with his agent Dan Milstein this week and learned that he is confirmed to be returning to the Soo Greyhounds this season and we’re hoping he can find more offensive production this year.
When it comes to the WHL goaltender, Young. I got nothing to report on him. That’s Quads’ guy.
That wraps it up for this week’s Blackfish report. If there’s a prospect you’d like to hear more about, or hear from, leave a comment here and I’ll check in with the player.
See you next week and enjoy the video if you’d like!
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