Klimovich or Lekkerimäki: Which Canucks prospect will have the better NHL Career?

Photo credit:James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 year ago
On Friday’s episode of Canucks Conversation, our Atlas Goods poll question sparked a healthy debate in the live chat of our show, and we thought it’d be a good one to bring to CanucksArmy.
Which Canucks prospect will have the better NHL career? Danila Klimovich, or Jonathan Lekkerimäki?
The debate comes on the heels of the Vancouver Canucks’ development camp wrapping up this past week. As CanucksArmy’s prospect guru Chris Faber prepares his updated list of the top ten Canucks prospects in the Canucks’ system, he brought this debate to the table because according to him, it’s a lot closer than many may think.
“Lekkerimäki should be above Danila Klimovich,” said Faber. “But [in an] NHL career, size and speed are going to help you. Danila Klimovich is bigger, I also think he’s a better skater than Jonathan Lekkerimäki. He’s not honed in, he’s not the perfect example of what you’d want, but he is fast, he has some pace to his game… I look at these players and I think that Klimovich’s size is really going to help him.
“Lekkerimaki, with his size, he’s going to need to be a top six player. I can’t see him being a bottom six player and contributing at the NHL level consistently. I think you could make an argument and say that Klimovich has a pretty decent chance — he can play on any line if he’s able to continue to develop his two-way game and his defensive play which took massive steps last year.
“Listen, I’ve watched every second that Jonathan Lekkerimäki played last year, and I watched every second of Danila Klimovich last year and I really like what Klimovich did more than what Lekkerimäki did from watching them play. I know there’s more higher-end potential with Lekkerimäki, but at the same time, with Klimovich, if he’s able to figure out that shot, his shot could be better than Lekkerimäki’s.”
Listen to the rest of Faber’s reasoning in the video below!
To me (someone who hasn’t watched every shift these prospects have played for the past two years like Faber has) Lekkerimäki has the higher ceiling but based on his frame and player type, may also have a lower floor than Klimovich, who took major strides in developing his two-way game this past season with Abbotsford.
Watch the full video of the debate below!

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