Monday Mailbag: Jonathan Lekkerimäki’s upside, Miller’s contract situation, and what we’re looking for at Canucks development camp

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
By Faber
1 year ago
We didn’t get any of the fireworks that we were hoping for since our last Monday Mailbag. The Canucks walked away from the 2022 NHL draft with Swedish sniper Jonathan Lekkerimäki and another Elias Pettersson. There was no J.T. Miller trade, and the lack of change worries some after so much excitement about the new management regime and the thought of “trader Jim” being the captain of the ship.
The Canucks didn’t take a step back this week at the draft but many believed that it was going to be the time where we saw them take a big step towards becoming closer to being able to compete for a Stanley Cup. Being able to monetize Miller for future assets or a potential partner for Quinn Hughes gets this team further down the tracks of being where they need to be to give this core the best chance at a cup run.
My thought process is that we need to continue to have faith in the management group that has proven successful at the NHL level.
Was this past week a failure? No.
But it wasn’t a major win either. In all honesty, this past week could be looked at as closer to a loss than a win. If we continue to push deadlines for Miller, we could get to a point where his value drops. Right now, things are ok, there’s no deadline by which Miller has to be traded. Free agency begins on Wednesday and it presents the last big event of the offseason before training camp.
As for the draft, it seems like there could be some value in Daimon Gardner, Kirill Kudryavtsev, and Elias Pettersson. Our early viewings show some promise and the high school tape of Gardner is fun to watch — he’s just so much better than everyone at that level. We’re excited to see him at development camp.
Now, with so much going on and my base layer of thought laid down, let’s get into this week’s Monday Mailbag. It’s time to open up the ol’ Twitter machine and see what the wonderful users of the app came up with.
Let’s see what we got this week!
A lot of the tape where I’ve seen him has been on the left side but he is consistent in moving around when playing with another left-shot defenceman.
He begins almost all of his shifts on the left side but could be found defending on the right side, especially in junior. In the SHL, he was rarely seen on the right side and stuck to his comfortable side on the left.
Jonathan Lekkerimäki came off of a U18 tournament where he had 15 points in six games and shot up draft boards back in May. My thought process is that after scoring so many points, Lekkerimäki drew more eyes to his tape.
There’s a lot to like about his play and his ability to be a scoring chance creator, who executes his shot consistently at an extremely high level. When you look at his stationary offensive toolkit, Lekkerimäki is top-three in this draft.
He slid because teams went with bigger-bodied winger/centres and defencemen. Lekkerimäki isn’t going to play centre, he’s a pure winger and it seemed like teams valued that. This helped the Canucks grab a top-10 talent who should be a power play stat down the road.
Another reason for sliding a bit could be because of the industry’s view of his play in the defensive zone. In our viewings, we actually praised Lekkerimäki’s defensive play. We thought he did a good job of recognizing where scoring chances were developing and getting a stick on the puck before the opposition could get a shot off. He was a bit of a fly-by specialist when it came to blocking point-shot but we thought the fight was there on board battles and that he is a good breakout option.
For those reasons, and being a pure winger who also happens to be under six foot tall — he was available for the Canucks and 15. It’s good value and we really like the pick for the Canucks.
I’m hoping sometime before 2035.
I’d be happy with 2050 but not sure how many more years I’ll have after that.
Let’s go with 2028.
Seeing Elias Pettersson thrive in the SHL will be an interesting story to follow. If he is able to get some time in a top-four, I’ll begin to get excited about Petey 2.0.
As for just pure excitement, I’m going to go with Daimon Gardner. He’s big, goes to the net hard, and can finish. It’s a bit worrisome that he isn’t going straight to the NCAA after being drafted but that likely coincides with why he was available in the fourth round.
I’d love to see Gardner develop into a power forward and hope to see him in Abbotsford sometime in 2024-2025.
I really don’t believe that all this information adds up.
If the Canucks and Miller are so far, why wouldn’t they let him talk extension potential trade partners? This helps everyone and because the Canucks didn’t trade Miller at last year’s deadline, his 5.25 million dollar cap hit isn’t as important as the next contract that he signs.
I’d be confident that if other teams were able to negotiate, they would be able to give a better offer than the Canucks. Getting an extension in place helps all parties in this equation. The rose-coloured glasses crew could look at this timeline and believe that free agency opens up the best time for a sign and trade situation. Once the market opens, you get a different view on market value and potential that sends teams towards the Canucks in search of Miller’s services.
I just don’t think the Canucks and Miller will be able to work out an extension that makes sense for both sides. Miller deserves his money and I hope he goes and gets that from a team like the New York Rangers.
I’d put it at 33%.
What are their jerseys going to say?
Could set the ultimate upside as a long-time winger for Elias Pettersson who thrives on the power play as a passer and a finisher.
With no deadline, they are holding tough on looking for the perfect deal.
I’m not going to panic yet but could begin to worry if nothing happens on the Miller by late July.
Introducing myself to people as someone from Vancouver and hearing a quick story about Jason Botchford was really cool.
He was quite the entertaining person in the media and it was very cool to hear from some people that knew him at these events.
My karaoke performance of Hero by Enrique Iglesias at the media night was probably some of the most fun I personally had.
Let’s see what this Chad Nychuk kid is all about. 21 goals in the WHL as a defenceman is no joke.
We will be keeping our eyes on him.
The food in Montreal was awesome. It was kind of the same deal every day. I would wake up and go have a sesame bagel somewhere. The wide variety of cream cheese was cool and the fresh bagels were top-notch.
Lunch almost always turned out to be a smoke meat sandwich. Everyone said I’d fall in love with the poutine but I quickly became a smoked meat sandwich guy. The combination of the mega-sandwiches and a big pickle just did the trick for me.
I had some great poutines as well but really love the sandwiches.
The prices were actually pretty good on most of the food. I’m not a high-end eatery type of person and a lot of the sandwiches and poutines gave a good amount of food for $9.99-$17.99.
Yeah, Owen Pickering has one of the highest ceilings out of the players selected in the first round.
A 6’5” defenceman just doesn’t often move as he does. We wish him the best as he was a great guest on the Canucks Conversation podcast. If you were wanting the Canucks to draft for position, he would have been our guy at 15.
None of the three are that close to NHL-ready.
I’m confident in ranking them like this.
1. Jonathan Myrenberg
2. Joni Jurmo
3. Hugo Gabrielson
I’m really excited to see the pace that sticks out from Canucks development camp. One of the players to keep an eye on for their pace is Aidan McDonough. He’s played three seasons of NCAA hockey and people have been questioning his skating since he was drafted. He is the prospect to watch along with Linus Karlsson, Arshdeep Bains, and Lucas Forsell.
At just 17 years old, we can’t wait to see what Jonathan Lekkerimäki looks like as he competes against the rest of the Canucks prospects. We are confident that Lekkerimäki is the Canucks’ top prospect as of the second he was drafted to the organization. Now, he will have to continue to develop as he approaches becoming an NHL player.
Arturs Silovs should be the goalie to watch at this tournament while we are also curious to see how Aku Koskenvuo looks before he joins Harvard.
There’s a ton to be excited about but the actual idea of the Canucks simply having a development camp is the most exciting thing for us. We haven’t seen this camp since 2019 and it’s great to get all the prospects together to familiarize themselves with each other as well as those in the organization.
Our coverage of Canucks development camp begins today and we will bring you a ton of stories as the week goes on!
Thanks as always for the questions and we will look to include your questions if you reply in the comments with the hashtag #MM.

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