Continuing on with my rankings, we are going to dive into the middle of my top 10.

There is some excitement here and it’s actually very good to see two defencemen pop up after talking about two goalies and two wingers in the first instalment of this series, which you can read here.

So, without further ado, let’s get right to number six on our top-10 prospect rankings for the summer of 2022.

#6: Jonathan Myrenberg, RD, 19 years old, 6’3″, 200 lbs

Celebrate good times Canucks fans, we have a right-shot defenceman showing up on the top-10 list!

Jonathan Myrenberg played in 15 SHL games last season in his draft +1 season. These weren’t just dress and sit games either, as only one of the 15 games saw Myrenberg record under five minutes of ice time and he had a season-high on February 19th with 17:44 of ice time. From going back and watching some SHL tape of his, he falls back into his old habits of being a defensive defenceman and ultimately, this is how we view his best shot of becoming a pro player in North America.

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When he arrived at the SHL powerhouse Linköping in 2019, he wasn’t sure what kind of defenceman he was but he knew that he could hold his own in the defensive zone. His junior play with Linköping’s J20 team has opened up his offensive game but in the limited SHL time, he rests his game on his laurels and plays a simple defensive game. Myrenberg is able to be very effective as a defensive defenceman because of his ability to see the ice and his size.

After watching all of development camp, Jonathan Myrenberg was by far the best defenceman at the camp. Though Joni Jurmo moved around the ice at a similar pace, there was something about how Myrenberg was able to read and react in the scrimmage that made him stick out head and shoulders above the rest.

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The hope for Myrenberg is that he can crack the world junior team this December. It would be a massive platform for him to show off his defensive skill as well as his ability to shine when skating the puck up ice against players his own age. Though we have mentioned his defensive skills, when he plays against players in his own age group, he is an electric two-way defenceman. He can carry the puck up ice but also shows great vision and accurate passing on a consistent basis.

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He looked much bigger at development campo than we have seen him look in SHL or J20 play last season. The kid has been focused on adding size as he will be playing a lot more minutes this coming season. Myrenberg has been loaned to More of the Allsvenskan league for the 2022-23 season, where he is expected to be a top-four defenceman as a teenager.

The added minutes are interesting for us because we have seen enough of him in the J20 leagues to know that he is skilled and now he will have to prove his high value in the second-best pro league in Sweden which will feature five or six teams that are of SHL quality.

We will follow Myrenberg’s season closely but this development camp and some digging through the tape is the reason why he has shot up the rankings and now sits at number six on my list.

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#5: Aidan McDonough, LW, 22 years old, 6’2″, 201 lbs

We’ve been talking about him for long enough now and it’s finally the year for Aidan McDonough to go pro. He is wrapping up his final season with Northeastern and then says that his goal is to turn pro.

He was one of the standouts at Canucks development camp and showed off his highly touted shot on multiple occasions.

Simply put, the kid already has a shot that is at a professional level. You can see in practice that his shot has a heaviness to it, and it can clip goalies but still find a way to beat them. We’ve given you the book on McDonough more than a couple of dozen times — he is a big, strong winger who can shoot the puck with authority.

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Our expectations for McDonough are sky-high after he elected to not go pro and instead go back for his senior season at Northeastern. He just finished second in the NCAA for goals with 25 in 38 games and our expectations for him have to be that he scores at least 30 goals and leads the nation in goals.

If all goes right for him this season, there’s a spot with his name on it to be an instant impact at the AHL level and he may even be given a shot to showcase how his talent stacks up in the NHL for a game or two.

We’ve been pleased with the improvements he has made to his skating. McDonough has spent time with well-known skating coach Dena Taylor as well as zoom calls with Abbotsford skating coach Mackenzie Braid. McDonough’s stride looks more powerful and this is going to be needed if he is ever going to be an impact player at the NHL level. It looks like he needs to work on getting up to pace as the NHL would definitely be too quick for his reaction time right now.

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He’s told us that he is obviously working hard for Northeastern to win a national championship but also has a focus on having his mind and body prepared for becoming a pro. One of the things we’d like to see him work on in the next year or so is his fast-twitch muscles and ability to not hesitate when the puck gets on his stick. We love the release of his shot when it happens but it’s going to need to be a half-second faster to have any success in the NHL.

If he can continue to work on his skating and get that half-second off of his shot time, we’re very excited to see what he can do with the Canucks if he signs at the end of this season — which we expect he will do.

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#4: Elias Pettersson, LD, 18 years old, 6’2″, 185 lbs

Is everyone done with the Elias Pettersson 2.0 jokes yet? Because this kid is legit.

Editor’s note: It’s RePetey.

He was the best player on day one of Canucks development camp. We thought that he moved the best out of the defencemen and was physically dominant. As an 18-year-old kid, it was damn impressive to see him pushing around every single player on the ice during day one of camp.

We went back and watched his strong run of games in the SHL during February this past season and saw a lot of the same things we saw on day one of Canucks development camp. Pettersson can skate his way out of problems and loves to be physical. His two-week run in February saw him play in five SHL games and he averaged 13:02 of ice time in those five games. He was 17 years old during that run and turned 18 on the day before the fifth game.

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Getting that type of run as a 17-year-old is always impressive but the part that we liked the most was the actual results on the ice during those five games. He was getting shots on goal, breaking out the puck and as we mentioned early — being very physical.

We’re told that he is returning to Örebro to compete for an SHL job but has the option to play J20 games again this season. If Pettersson returns to J20 for a majority of the season, expect him to be one of the most dominant defencemen in the Swedish junior circuit. He scored 10 goals in 37 J20 games last season and was an absolute wrecking ball in his own zone.

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We believe that there is bottom-four NHL potential to Pettersson’s game and it would be interesting to see if he is able to play the right side of the defence as a left-shot defenceman. This could be a spot where he really helps the team down the road. I”d like to see him get a chance to play the right side and we did see him rotate a lot to the right side during SHL play but rarely did he start on the right side of the ice at the time of a faceoff.

All in all, there’s a lot to like about the combination of skating and physicality in Pettersson’s game. We will be keeping a close eye on him and hope to see a lot of minutes in the SHL this coming season.

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That wraps it up for part two of our top-10 prospect rankings list! We will be back tomorrow with the top three prospects in the Canucks system.

Can you guess the order that I’ll put them in?

4. Elias Pettersson
5. Aidan McDonough
6. Jonathan Myrenberg 
7. Aku Koskenvuo
8. Lucas Forsell
9. Linus Karlsson
10. Arturs Silovs

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