It was Sweden’s third game of the World Junior Championship on Thursday and we saw a couple of big moments in the game for Vancouver Canucks prospects.
Let’s start with the good news.
Sweden and Czechia played a back-and-forth game on Thursday, ultimately resulting in overtime action and the Canucks’ top prospect stepped up big for his country.
Jonathan Lekkerimäki circled the neutral zone and sent a perfect pass onto the stick of Ludvig Jansson, who barreled in towards the net on the right wing and made a move before burying the game-winning goal for Sweden.
Lekkerimäki likely wouldn’t have seen any ice time in overtime if it wasn’t for Leo Carlsson and Fabian Lysell leaving the game earlier due to undisclosed injuries. With the two top-six forwards out of the lineup after the first period, this opened up the door for Lekkerimäki to play more minutes higher up in Sweden’s lineup.
There were some good sequences from Lekkerimäki in the game but overall, it was a pretty quiet game for the 18-year-old. His play in overtime was nice to see and he had another shift that was clipped by our pal, Dan Gee.
As for the bad news.
Defenceman Elias Pettersson (D-Petey) took a hit where his head hit the boards hard and he was forced to leave the game.
Pettersson was able to get off the ice under his own power but did not return to the game after taking the hit.
At the time, there was no update from the Swedish coach about Pettersson. He mentioned that he had not had time to talk to the doctors after the game before he went to do media.
As for Finnish goalie Aku Koskenvuo, he did not play in Finland’s 3-0 win over Latvia, and after a shutout from Jani Lampinen, we expect to see Koskenvuo be the backup for the rest of this tournament. It appears as if Lampinen has won the starter’s job.
We will keep you posted on Pettersson’s health status as well as the continuation of the World Juniors for the Canucks’ prospects.