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[Report] Canucks’ Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Elias Pettersson To Stay In North America


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Canucks’ Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Elias Pettersson To Stay In North America

 

May 13th, 2024 at 11:24am CST • By Gabriel Foley

 

The Vancouver Canucks will be adding two top prospects to the fold next season, with forward Jonathan Lekkerimäki and defenseman Elias Pettersson both set to move to North America, shares their Swedish club, Örebro HK (Twitter link). The pair both joined the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks following the end of Örebro’s season, each recording two points through six and eight games respectively. They’re now set to stay in North America, providing a major boost to Vancouver’s depth chart.

 

It’s likely that both players report to Abbotsford for the start of next season, though Lekkerimäki could be poised to rival an NHL spot. The 19-year-old winger was prolific in the SHL this season, netting 19 goals and 31 points through 46 games. It was the most a U20 player has produced in the SHL since Emil Bemstrom put up 35 points in 2018-19 and Elias Pettersson(the forward) recorded 56 points in 2017-18. Lekkerimäki earned the SHL’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ award with the performance, joining a talented list of winners including Nicklas Backstrom and William Eklund. Lekkerimäki maintained the strong production internationally as well, recording seven goals and 10 points in seven World Juniors games and five points in five friendly matches with Sweden’s U20 club. While his skillful, shoot-first style will need some refining before it’s fully NHL-ready, there’s no doubt that Vancouver is happy with the value they landed when they drafted Lekkerimäki 15th overall in 2022.

 

And while Pettersson – a third-round selection in 2022 – doesn’t offer the same ceiling as his Örebro teammate, his development has been just as worth following. Pettersson is an impressively fluid defender, keeping up with play well despite his 6-foot-4, 209-lbs frame. He’s aggressive in all aspects, using an active stick and physical presence to shut down opponents when defending the rush, and jumping at the bits to join the offensive rush whenever he can. Pettersson is reliable on the puck and finds teammates well, though he’s still refining his ability to be patient when creating scoring chances. He seemed to be adjusting to the AHL well at the end of the year, and could be poised for a big season next year should he add a bit more discipline.
 

https://www.prohockeyrumors.com/2024/05/canucks-jonathan-lekkerimaki-elias-pettersson-to-stay-in-north-america.html#ref=home

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Will be great for them to be in Abby next year. Lekkerimaki could make the team, but I won't count on it just yet.

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2 hours ago, -AJ- said:

Will be great for them to be in Abby next year. Lekkerimaki could make the team, but I won't count on it just yet.

 

Lekkerimaki is certainly better than Suter or Mikheyev.  I would put money on him not only making the team but starting on Petey's right wing...

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29 minutes ago, Elias Pettersson said:

 

Lekkerimaki is certainly better than Suter or Mikheyev.  I would put money on him not only making the team but starting on Petey's right wing...

Lol he’s built just like Petey. We’d need to find a power forward/put Joshua  with them or they’d get destroyed. 

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Great news, hopefully they both spend at least a full season in Abbotsford. I think there's a lot they could learn there and I generally lean towards letting prospects stew. 

 

No need to rush prospects, in retrospect Podz could have used more time in Abbotsford to begin with. We also saw how rushing prospects into the league can turn out with Virtanen and McCann. 

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4 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

Great news, hopefully they both spend at least a full season in Abbotsford. I think there's a lot they could learn there and I generally lean towards letting prospects stew. 

 

No need to rush prospects, in retrospect Podz could have used more time in Abbotsford to begin with. We also saw how rushing prospects into the league can turn out with Virtanen and McCann. 

Nothing wrong with McCann, he just needed to age a little............

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, JIAHN said:

Nothing wrong with McCann, he just needed to age a little............

 

He took a while, his point per game ratio began to progress quite well once he got to Pittsburgh, but both him and Virtanen could have probably used a more patient approach imo 

 

I just lean more towards letting prospects stew in general, which is why I'm glad Willander will be returning to Boston (as far as I know)

Edited by Coconuts
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12 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

 

He took a while, his point per game ratio began to progress quite well once he got to Pittsburgh, but both him and Virtanen could have probably used a more patient approach imo 

 

I just lean more towards letting prospects stew in general, which is why I'm glad Willander will be returning to Boston (as far as I know)

 

Absolfrickenlutely! 

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24 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

 

He took a while, his point per game ratio began to progress quite well once he got to Pittsburgh, but both him and Virtanen could have probably used a more patient approach imo 

 

I just lean more towards letting prospects stew in general, which is why I'm glad Willander will be returning to Boston (as far as I know)

I'm pretty sure McCann even admitted in a recent interview (last year I think) that he thought he was rushed in retrospect and would have benefited from another year in junior.

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5 hours ago, -AJ- said:

Will be great for them to be in Abby next year. Lekkerimaki could make the team, but I won't count on it just yet.

It would not surprise me if both Lekker and Pettersson get some NHL games next season. Lekker obviously has high-end offensive skills.

 

D-Petey is different. He has not been a "star" as any level but he has the kind of game that should work in the NHL. He is big, strong, tough, a good skater, and reliable defensively.

 

I expect Zadorov to be too expensive for the Canucks to re-sign (although it would be great if he would re-sign on a team-friendly dea).  D-Petey is a guy who can supply some of the same skills.

 

Of course he might struggle at the NHL level, but I think he was a great pick.

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crazy that JL is only 19.  A couple of seasons in the A will set him up nicely for the big club.  Linus Karlsson a great example of someone that can step in w a well rounded defensive game after marinating a bit.  Encouraged that this organization wont rush him ☑️

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14 minutes ago, Elias Pettersson said:

 

With all due respect, D-Petey isn't in the same stratosphere as Zadorov.  I see D-Petey as Soucy's eventual replacement.  Zadorov is a unicorn, there is no one like him in the entire NHL.  You need to pay Zadorov and then figure things out later.  Zadorov is not only valuable on the ice but he is just as valuable off the ice.  I would argue he is our most important free agent to re-sign, moreso than Hronek, Joshua or even Lindholm...

Correct me if I'm wrong. Wasn't Zads viewed as a rough and tumble 4th-6th defenceman when we got him in the trade?

Pretty sure no one saw 7 points in 9 games in the playoffs. And nobody thought he'd be only 1 point behind Hughes in the playoffs so far.

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2 minutes ago, Ghostsof1915 said:

Correct me if I'm wrong. Wasn't Zads viewed as a rough and tumble 4th-6th defenceman when we got him in the trade?

Pretty sure no one saw 7 points in 9 games in the playoffs. And nobody thought he'd be only 1 point behind Hughes in the playoffs so far.

 

Zadorov was a 1st round pick.  He played with Bo in London and was considered a top prospect coming out of junior.  He's always had an offensive game, but for whatever reason bounced around the league with a few different teams.  He did score 14 goals last year, which is more than Hughes ever scored up until this year and also Myers too.  Myers remember was also a top prospect coming out of junior and won the Calder.

 

I don't think anyone saw Zadorov getting 7 points in 9 playoff games, but he has always been a great skater with offensive potential.  At 6'6" and 250 pounds he is truly a unicorn.  He is the whole package really.  

 

In comparison, D-Petey is more of a defensive dman with great size and mobility.  He is similar to Carson Soucy.  Might have potential to be a top 4 guy, we will see.  In 5-6 years, maybe D-Petey is in the top 4 and Zadorov is on the 3rd pairing.  

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, elvis15 said:

I look forward to seeing what they can do with a full year in the AHL!


it’s really good to see guys like Karlsson stepping in now in high pressure and performing. That bodes well for next season if we have to cut a few bodies to make cap. Every $ counts 

Edited by RWJC
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1 hour ago, Elias Pettersson said:

 

With all due respect, D-Petey isn't in the same stratosphere as Zadorov.  I see D-Petey as Soucy's eventual replacement.  Zadorov is a unicorn, there is no one like him in the entire NHL.  You need to pay Zadorov and then figure things out later.  Zadorov is not only valuable on the ice but he is just as valuable off the ice.  I would argue he is our most important free agent to re-sign, moreso than Hronek, Joshua or even Lindholm...

I would not say Z is in the "stratosphere" but I agree that D-Petey is not at the same level as Z. But, like I said, he can provide some of the same skills. If Z does not re-sign, the Canucks will need someone who can add size, toughness, physical play, good skating and reliable defence. No guarantee that D-Petey will be good enough but he has a shot and has had an excellent trajectory since being drafted. And he is on a cheap entry-level contract.

 

As for Z., he is having a huge playoff and is getting a lot of visibility. In free agency some GM will be willing to overpay for him and the Canucks will be more cap constrained than most teams.

 

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1 hour ago, RWJC said:


it’s really good to see guys like Karlsson stepping in now in high pressure and performing. That bodes well for next season if we have to cut a few bodies to make cap. Every $ counts 

not really karlsson at most will be replacing another guy that's 1mil on the roster.. so really doesn't make any difference on the cap.. he's not replacing a joshua.. and doubt we can get rid of mikheyev.. he'd be replacing the likes of pdg aman laffety hoglanders etc doesn't really make any difference to the cap situation

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Posted (edited)

It’s minimal yes, but if he replaces a Lafferty it’s about 200K but if it’s a Blueger (who also plays W) it’s about 900K saved. Like I said every dollar counts, especially when we’re trying to extend 3 key players.

 

and we have no choice but to trade out Mikheyev. He’s become prohibitive with his cap hit to us affording a complete team again. Imho he’s a prime candidate to be traded out even at a loss if need be, because that loss is negated if it enables us to resign a key piece.

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2 hours ago, RWJC said:


it’s really good to see guys like Karlsson stepping in now in high pressure and performing. That bodes well for next season if we have to cut a few bodies to make cap. Every $ counts 


No one is stepping in to replace an expensive body, so don’t count on help for another 2-3 years 

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