It’s time for another edition of the Vancouver Canucks prospects report. Highlights include Lukas Jasek’s massive week in the Finnish Liiga and Linus Karlsson’s successful return to the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). We also take a look at Lucas Forsell’s potentially frustrating season with Farjestad BK J20.
That and a whole lot more as we continue to recap and analyze the top performances of prospects throughout the Canucks pipeline.
Lukas Jasek On Fire to Start 2021-22 Season
Jasek had a massive week in the Finnish Liiga collecting a goal and five points in three games. He also averaged over 18 minutes of ice time and helped his team to two victories and an overtime loss. He is currently on a four-game point streak to start the season and appears comfortable being in the spotlight as one of his team’s primary sources of offence.
On Wednesday against Jukurit, he had a goal and two assists in a 6-2 win and assisted on the only goal in a 1-0 blanking of TPS on Friday. He also played a season-high 21:12 and won 60 percent of his faceoffs in that game. He only has one goal, but his playmaking is on point as he has five assists on the season already, including one pinpoint breakaway pass on the opening goal against KalPa on Saturday. He is currently tied for second in Liiga scoring with a number of players behind only Alex Broadhurst of HIFK, who has seven points. Needless to say, he seems to be enjoying himself in Finland right now.
Next Games: Sept 21 vs. Ilves, Sept 25 vs. SaiPa
Forsell’s Frustrating Season So Far
Forsell, aka the other Lucas in this report, isn’t having as much fun as his counterpart in Finland. He does have two assists in five games, but his team has gotten off to a rocky start. They only have one win on the season and have been outscored 22-9 so far. According to Chris Faber of Canucks Army, it sounds like it won’t get any easier for him either.
Playing in a losing environment is never easy. Hopefully, Forsell’s development doesn’t suffer because of it. Individually, he’s looked very good displaying excellent vision and playmaking skills, so maybe he will impress the brass in the SHL enough to warrant a call-up to Farjestad BK in the future.
Next Games: Sept 22 vs. HV71, Sept 26 vs. IK Oskarshamn
Karlsson’s Back in the SHL and Ready to Dominate
After a season dominating the HockeyAllsvenskan with 20 goals and 51 points in 52 games and eight goals and 15 points in the playoffs, Karlsson was ready to move on to the SHL full time. His last appearance was back during the 2017-18 season when he was 18 years old. Now on the verge of turning 22, he’s back and should be well equipped to build on his one point in 13 career games.
Karlsson’s already well on his way to doing just that. Playing with Skellefteå AIK, he has two goals in three games and has fired nine shots on goal. His ice time has gone progressively down since his first game against Djurgårdens IF, but he was still able to score and record five shots on goal in a season-low 12:16 on Saturday against Leksands IF. He’s been noticeable in almost every game as he’s shown off his speed, hands, and NHL caliber shot on multiple occasions.
According to CapFriendly, the Canucks have to sign Karlsson to an entry-level contract (ELC) by June 1, 2022 or he will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA). With how well he’s playing in the SHL right now, general manager Jim Benning should get on the phone and get a deal done pretty soon. If he doesn’t, he will be left with nothing to show for the Alex Burrows/Jonathan Dahlen trade he made back in 2017.
Next Game: Sept 25 vs. Brynas
Utunen, Jurmo, Myrenberg & Koskenvuo
Toni Utunen played three games this past week for the Finnish Liiga’s Pelicans alongside fellow prospect Lukas Jasek. He went pointless, but fired six shots on goal and averaged 18 minutes of ice time. Points are not usually his thing, as he only put up two goals and five points in 51 games last season.
Next Games: Sept 21 vs. Ilves, Sept 25 vs. SaiPa
Joni Jurmo only got into one game this past week against the Pelicans where he played over 20 minutes. After a season that saw him bounce around the Mestis, Liiga, and U20 SM-sarja, I’m sure he wants to try and stay put on one team this season. After three games, the 2020 third-round pick has not hit the scoresheet in 2021-22.
Next Games: Sept 22 vs. Assat, Sept 25 vs. TPS Turku
Jonathan Myrenberg continued to add to his point total this past week with another assist. He now has two points in three games.
Next Games: Sept 22 vs. IK Oskarshamn, Sept 25 vs. Vaxjo Lakers, Sept 26 vs. IF Malmö Redhawks
In his only game this week, Aku Koskenvuo struggled to keep the puck out of the net in a 7-6 shootout loss to KaiPa, as he surrendered six goals on 26 shots. He was coming off a shutout in his last start against KooKoo where he stopped 20 shots in a 7-0 victory. Hopefully, more remote sessions with Ian Clark can help clean up his game as he heads into his next matchup against Koovee on Sept. 25.
Canucks Prospect Tracker (2021-22 Season)
It’s always difficult to keep track of where all the prospects are playing especially after the offseason. Well, I’ve got you covered with the 2021-22 Canucks Prospect Tracker. Here is a list of all the prospects playing everywhere except for the AHL and NHL.
|Connor Lockhart||C||Erie Otters||OHL|
|Jacob Truscott||LD||University of Michigan||NCAA|
|Jack Malone||RW/C||Cornell University||NCAA|
|Jackson Kunz||C||University of North Dakota||NCAA|
|Aidan McDonough||LW||Northeastern University||NCAA|
|Matthew Thiessen||G||University of Maine||NCAA|
|Linus Karlsson||C/RW||Skellefteå AIK||SHL|
|Arvid Costmar||C||Linköping HC||SHL|
|Jonathan Myrenberg||RD||Linköping HC J20||J20 Nationell|
|Lucas Forsell||LW||Färjestad BK J20||J20 Nationell|
|Hugo Gabrielson||LD||Västerviks IK||HockeyAllsvenskan|
|Aku Koskenvuo||G||HIFK U20||U20 SM-sarja|
|Artyom Manukyan||RW||Admiral Vladivostok||KHL|
|Dmitri Zhukenov||C||Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg||KHL|
|Dmitri Zlodeyev||C||MHK Dynamo Moskva||MHL|
That does it for another edition of the Canucks prospects report. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks as we count down the days to the start of the 2021-22 regular season!
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.