We are continuing to chat with some of the Canucks prospects and recently, we spoke with 2021 seventh-round pick Lucas Forsell.
Forsell has been the highest rising prospect in the system since the 2021 draft and his future is looking very bright for a seventh-round pick.
This season saw Forsell dress for 30 SHL games with the playoff champion Färjestad team. Though he was out for the playoffs after suffering a fractured thumb in a U20 friendly, Forsell was able to be around the SHL team for their playoff run and learned a lot from how the team prepared for games, took things day by day, and didn’t let outside noise affect them.
“It was really great for me to be around the team and see all the big-name SHL guys,” said Forsell. “I got to see how they prepare themselves, how they are mentally focused, and I had a lot of time to work in the gym. I did some biking and some leg lifting. The upper-body training was hard because of the cast but I was able to spend a ton of time training my lower body.”
Forsell impressed Färjestad fans earlier this season when he had a three-game goal-scoring streak in the SHL as an 18-year-old kid. He gives praise to his new coach for giving him the opportunity and joked that it might have been what he was eating that helped him get lucky on the ice.
“Maybe I was eating something special and that’s why,” said Forsell with a laugh as he reminisced about his three-game scoring spree. “But no, we had a coaching change and the new coach put a lot of trust in me. I got a chance to play on the power play and get top-line minutes as well. Now, with the new coach, I can fight my way into the roster. Older players are much more trusted but I will do everything that I have to earn the new coach’s trust.”
This past year gave Forsell a huge confidence boost. He began the year on a J20 team that was by far the worst in the league. He became a leader on that team and dragged them back into the fight just before the calendar flipped over to 2022.
Then, Forsell jumped right into the SHL and proved that he can not only play in the best Swedish league, but have offensive success there as well.
“My goal is to be a productive SHLer next year,” said Forsell. “I know I’m probably not going to be a point per game player but maybe 15 points and get more ice time. I want to play big minutes every game and not be the 13th forward anymore — I want to be more than that next season. It’s all about preparing myself. I want to work very hard this summer and show the new coach why I should be on that roster every game by the time the puck drops next season.”
This summer begins with rehabbing his fractured thumb. Forsell now has his cast off and will be back to shooing next week. He will spend the next six weeks training with Färjestad before returning to his hometown where he will see some family and work out at his home rink in preparation for Canucks development camp.
Forsell is very excited about the Canucks’ development camp. He hopes and believes that the camp is going to be very competitive as a lot of the prospects selected in the 2020 and 2021 drafts have not been able to prove themselves or see where they stack up compared to the other draft picks in the prospect pool.
“I am very excited,” said Forsell when asked about coming to Vancouver for the development camp. “This type of thing is the most fun thing to me. I’m excited to meet all the guys who are drafted and show my skill to all the people around the organization as well. I’m excited to show them my play in person instead of just on video. In July [people in the organization] will be able to see me play in person and I want to hear from them and focus on some details that they bring up. I hope everyone goes in there to show off their skills and show that they want to be the best. I think that’s what we will all want to do.”
As the fastest rising prospect in the system, we are also excited to see how he looks on the ice with and against all of the Canucks’ prospects.
This past season, the 18-year-old was one of the youngest players in the SHL and was confident in his offensive abilities against men.
“I would say it’s my offensive game,” said Forsell when asked about what he was the happiest about this past season in the SHL. “I feel like I can match many players in the SHL with my offensive game and I feel like I’m a threat out there even in the SHL. Yeah, that’s one thing I’m really happy with. When our line was in the offensive zone, me and my linemates were able to have the puck down in that zone and pin the opposition for long shifts.”
Forsell was bang-on with that assessment. He was fourth on his SHL team in Corsi with 52.6% of all attempted shots being for his team when he was on the ice.
Looking down the road, Forsell has a two-year contract with Färjestad and doesn’t have a sure plan on when he will come to North America. He said that his goal is to play in the NHL and is fine if that takes two, five, or 10 years.
He got an opportunity to play with Sweden’s U20 team earlier this year and says that it’s definitely a long shot for him to represent his country at the World Junior Championships in August but feels confident that he made a good impression with the coaching staff and has high hopes to represent Sweden at the 2023 world juniors in December.
Forsell is excited to meet all the fellow Swedish prospects at the development camp and has played against Linus Karlsson and Jonathan Myrenberg in the SHL. He joked about having instant chemistry with those two at the development camp and hopes to be on a power play unit with those two at some point during the camp.
We’ve been impressed with the 18-year-old’s season and are curious to see how he stacks up against the rest of the Canucks’ prospects at the development camp out at UBC in mid-July.