Örebro emerging as frontrunner to land Jonathan Lekkerimäki on SHL loan for the 2023-24 season
Photo credit:© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber18 days ago
The Vancouver Canucks’ top pick from the 2022 NHL Entry Draft is in search of an SHL team to play for next season after his Allsvenskan team Djurgården lost in the playoff finals and wasn’t able to achieve a promotion to the top Swedish league.
Jonathan Lekkerimäki has signed his entry-level contract with the Canucks and can now be loaned to any team in the SHL.
Sources have told CanucksArmy that Lekkerimäki’s most likely destination for next season is Örebro.
Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie & Dhali followed up on our report and checked in with Örebro’s general manager Nicklas Eriksson, who said he has had a couple of good meetings with Lekkerimäki.
Moving up to the SHL won’t be a new experience for the 18-year-old Lekkerimäki. He played in 26 SHL games during the 2021-22 season — which was his draft year. Lekkerimäki scored seven goals and added two assists as a 17-year-old in the SHL.
There were a lot of interested teams from the SHL, but if Örebro ultimately ends up landing Lekkerimäki, we would be ecstatic and the Canucks organization should be as well. We are excited because that makes one less team to follow in terms of Canucks prospects because Lekkerimäki would be joining Elias Pettersson (D-Petey), who was drafted in the third round of the same draft as Lekkerimäki.
Our expectation is that the Lekkerimäki loan is made official over the weekend or potentially early Monday.
The 18-year-old Lekkerimäki is coming into a crucial draft-plus-two season and needs to continue to turn the page on his up-and-down 2022-23 season that saw him tally three goals and six assists in 29 regular season games but then followed that up with five goals and 10 assists in 15 playoff games.
Lekkerimäki needs to be in playoff mode from the first drop of the puck next season and Örebro is looking like the team he will be playing for.
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