It’s time for another edition of the Vancouver Canucks prospects report. Highlights include Arvid Costmar and Jonathan Myrenberg’s first goals overseas and Lukas Jasek’s debut in the Finnish Liiga with the Pelicans. We also look at Aku Koskenvuo’s season so far with HIFK U20 in the U20 SM-sarja.
That and a whole lot more as we continue to recap and analyze the top performances of prospects throughout the Canucks pipeline.
Arvid Costmar, Centre, Linköping HC (SHL)
Well, that didn’t take long. Costmar has already matched his production from all of last season and he only took one game to do it. Sniping a wrist shot past Minnesota Wild 2021 first-round draft pick Jesper Wallstedt is no small feat, and he did it with ease. He now has three goals in 34 career SHL games, all with Linköping HC.
It’s going to be interesting to watch Costmar’s development this season, as he has the potential to be a very solid third-line center in the NHL. With a package that includes speed, faceoff prowess, agitating qualities, and as we saw on his goal, a wicked wrist shot, he could turn out to be another steal in the later rounds of the draft. Not a lot of players make it to the big leagues drafted all the way down at 215th overall. If he keeps this up, he might end up being one of them.
Next Game: Sept 16 vs. Djurgårdens IF
Lucas Forsell, Left Wing, Färjestad BK J20 (J20 Nationell)
Joining Costmar in the seventh-round club is another Swedish forward in Lucas Forsell. He was one of the youngest players in the 2021 Draft at 17 years old and was only 10 days away from being eligible for the 2022 Draft. He just turned 18 on Sept 5 and is now playing in the J20 Nationell after failing to make his SHL team, Färjestad BK.
This past week saw Forsell play two games and record a single assist. He accumulated four goals and 11 points in 13 games last season and got into one SHL game where he finished with zeroes across the board. Dubbed a steal by Canucks Army’s Chris Faber, he has some intriguing attributes that could eventually make him an NHL player.
Forsell is a dynamic offensive winger who has a high compete level and is known for his playmaking abilities…In tight spaces, Forsell does an amazing job threading the needle to his teammates on passes through traffic…Chris Faber, Canucks Army
Like most Swedish players, Forsell also has a strong work ethic and motor. He does need to fill out his frame, but that will come with time as he’s only 18 years old.
Next Games: Sept 16 vs. Karlskrona J20, Sept 18 vs. Rogle J20, Sept 19 vs. Linköping HC J20
Jonathan Myrenberg, Right Defence, Linköping HC J20 (J20 Nationell)
Another late-round draft pick of the Canucks in 2021, Myrenberg will attempt to build on his strong 2020-21 season that saw him record eight points (three goals, five assists) in 15 games with Linköping HC’s J20 team. He has hit the ground running already, as he recorded his first goal on Wednesday against Södertälje SK J20. He was blanked in his second game but was still able to fire three shots on goal.
Myrenberg has the size and mobility to make it to the NHL. He just has to work on his defensive game, which he has already identified as one of his weaknesses. He has also set a goal to be in the NHL in five years, which is more than reasonable given his talent and drive to succeed.
I’ve worked on it a lot…and I’ve gotten a lot better. I feel like I’m more comfortable being in the defensive zone but it’s still a work in progress…This season, I’m hoping to get some game time for Linkoping’s A-Team (in the Swedish Hockey League). In five years, I’m hopefully in the NHL. That’s my goal — and hopefully in the Canucks.Jonathan Myrenberg (from ‘Canucks prospects tracker: Podkolzin’s first impression, meeting Myrenberg’, The Province, 9/12/21)
With Alex Edler moving on to the Los Angeles Kings and eventually retirement, the Canucks will need another big Swedish defenceman to take over for him in the future. Myrenberg certainly has the tools to do it, now we just have to wait and see how he organizes them in his toolbox.
Next Games: Sept 15 vs. Rogle J20, Sept 19 vs. Djurgårdens J20
Lukas Jasek, Right-Wing/Centre, Pelicans (Finnish Liiga)
After spending parts of four seasons with the Utica Comets in the American Hockey League (AHL), Jasek has moved back overseas to join the Pelicans in the Finnish Liiga. Currently a restricted free agent (RFA) with the Canucks, it remains to be seen if this is a permanent move. Despite showing great signs of becoming an effective bottom-six forward in the NHL, general manager Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green didn’t see it fit to call him up in the last three seasons.
Jasek was one of head coach Trent Cull’s most trusted players with the Comets and was likely in the running to be the top-line center with the new Abbotsford Canucks. Yet, he decided that the best place for his development was in Europe. He is expected to be an important part of the Pelicans’ roster, so maybe he thought he could make more of a difference there. He debuted with the Pelicans on Saturday against HIFK where he recorded a single assist in 21 minutes of ice time.
Next Games: Sept 15 vs. Jukurit, Sept 17 vs. TPS Turku, Sept 18 vs. KalPa
Aku Koskenvuo, Goaltender, HIFK U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
Our final player on the prospects report this week is goaltender Aku Koskenvuo. Chosen 137th overall by the Canucks in 2021, he has already been dubbed as a player to watch in the coming seasons. Mostly because of the fact that he was picked specifically by goaltending guru Ian Clark. As most of Canucks Nation already knows, he is credited with developing a lot of elite goaltenders from Roberto Luongo to Thatcher Demko, so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the art of goaltending.
Koskenvuo is a few years away from competing for a spot in the NHL, but he has a lot of raw tools that Clark can work with in the future. Right now, he is playing his final season with HIFK U20 in the U20 SM-sarja where he has a 2.50 goals-against average (GAA) and .884 save percentage (SV%) in two games. Next season he will join the Harvard Crimson for his freshman year in the NCAA.
Next Game: Sept 19 vs. SaiPa U20
That does it for another edition of the Canucks prospects report. Stay tuned for more next week as we continue to bring you all the updates from here and overseas!
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.