To say that it’s been a bumpy year for Jonathan Lekkerimäki would be a positive way of describing the last eight months.
The 18-year-old 15th overall pick from the 2022 NHL Entry Draft battled mono in the springtime and missed out on a precious time during the offseason for a teenager to develop his body and add muscle.
He hasn’t had the best start to his Allsvenskan (Swedish second division) season, with just one goal and four assists through 20 games.
And now, things have gotten worse.
After taking a hit to the head on Saturday, CanucksArmy has learned that Lekkerimäki has entered concussion protocol with his Allsvenskan team Djurgården and will miss games over the foreseeable future.
Lekkerimäki was expected to play with Sweden at the World Junior Championship in late December but with camp just two weeks away, his status is currently unknown and it will depend on how he reacts to concussion treatment and recovery.
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Sweden begins their camp in Canada on December 14th ahead of the tournament being held in Halifax and Moncton.
If Lekkerimäki misses the WJC, it would be another really tough break on a kid who has just had a horrendous run of bad luck in 2022. There’s clearly a ton of offensive skill in his game but he just can’t seem to catch a break this year.
It’s too soon to rule out Lekkerimäki from Sweden’s World Junior camp just yet, but we will keep you posted on all the latest news as Sweden’s camp approaches.
Other notable prospects who have a chance to play in the World Juniors include Swedish defenceman Elias Pettersson (2022 third-round pick), Swedish winger Lucas Forsell (2021 seventh-round pick), and Finnish goalie Aku Koskenvuo (2021 fifth-round pick).
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Both Forsell and Koskenvuo are likely on the outside looking in on making their junior national clubs.
Pettersson (D-Petey), who is only 18 years old and will be eligible to play in next year’s tournament, has looked like he has a decent chance to crack the team as the seventh or eighth defenceman on the depth chart.
Stay tuned to CanucksArmy for all the latest news on Canucks prospects.