World Juniors Preview: Canucks’ trio set to close out their preliminary schedule against Finland

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Hall
5 months ago
Team Sweden is set to close their preliminary schedule with a New Year’s Eve showdown against Team Finland.
Maintaining an impressive 3-0-0 record, they share a spot with Slovakia as the only two undefeated teams, while being the only team yet to concede a goal throughout the tournament.
The Swedes entered this year’s World Junior Championship as favourites and have lived up to the hype thus far. After securing victories against Latvia and Germany, they held Canada to just 21 shots, ultimately defeating them by a 2-0 margin.
With the win, they have secured the top spot in Group A, ensuring a matchup against the fourth-placed team in Group B, which provides a favourable path for Sweden to advance to the semi-finals.
It’s been a strong showing for all three Canuck prospects, with each providing contributions, in some capacity, over all three games.
Jonathan Lekkerimäki sits third in team scoring with two goals and two assists and has arguably been Sweden’s most consistent forward, driving play and providing a constant offensive buzz through each shift.
Tom Willander scored his first goal on the World Junior stage, which stood as the game-winner against Canada. His consistent puck movement, physical assertiveness, and active stick have been a huge asset to this team’s backend. He sits second in the tournament with a plus-six rating.
Despite not registering any points, Elias Pettersson has emerged as Sweden’s unsung hero, leading the team in ice time across all three games. His reliable shutdown defence and aggressive demeanour have made him a formidable presence and a major factor among Sweden’s backend.
As for Finland, the tournament has been less fortunate, marked by a 1-2-0 record and a historic loss to Germany. Securing their first victory against Latvia, Finland has guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals but has not done themselves any favours with subpar showings through three games.
The puck is scheduled to drop at 5:30 AM (PST), and we will have a full recap following the match, here at CanucksArmy.

The current table

Vancouver Canuck prospect point totals

Jonathan Lekkerimäki: 3GP | 2G |2A | 4PTS | +3
Tom Willander: 3GP | 1G | 0A | 1PTS | +6
Elias Pettersson: 3GP | 0G | 0A | 0PTS | +1

Remaining preliminary schedule

Sunday, December 31 @ 5:30 AM (PST) (Finland)
Tuesday, January 2 @TBA (Quarterfinals)
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