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It’s the latest edition of the weekly tracker, where we tally up the efforts of the Vancouver Canucks’ highest-profile prospects:

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Linus Karlsson

Leave it to Linus to save the local hockey scene from total meltdown mode to start the season.

After Vancouver dropped its first two games of the season — and with Abbotsford getting thumped 8-2 on Friday night by the Ontario Reign — Karlsson used his wits and his mitts to score the overtime goal on Saturday as the Baby Canucks came back in Bakersfield to score three straight goals and top the Condors 3-2.

On the goal, the 22-year-old forward tracked a rebound in the slot, pulled the puck away from a defender and stuffed in his own rebound for the winner.

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Karlsson finished the game with a goal, five shots on net and an even rating. He also earned first-star honours for his effort.

The 6-foot-1, 179-pound right-shot winger was Abbotsford’s best forward in both games — the first two of his professional career in North America. He had nine shots combined.

Karlsson’s transition from Swedish Hockey League rookie of the year to AHL first-timer has gone as seamlessly as possible. His handling of the puck has been exceptional, he’s been disruptive defensively and his passing has been sublime.

There’s a reason he stuck around Vancouver’s roster so late into the NHL pre-season.

Vancouver Canucks forward Linus Karlsson (94) stick checks Arizona Coyotes forward Barrett Hayton (29) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vancouver won 4-0.
Vancouver Canucks forward Linus Karlsson (94) stick checks Arizona Coyotes forward Barrett Hayton (29) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Vancouver won 4-0. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAY Sports

In Friday night’s thumping in Ontario, Karlsson started the season in style, notching two primary assists in the first five minutes of a game that started — and ended — with fireworks.

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Just two minutes into the contest, Karlsson threaded a pass to an open Justin Dowling, who stepped into a slap shot for Abbotsford’s first goal of the season.

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With the score tied at 1-1 a few minutes later, the Eksjö product circled behind the Reign net and found a streaking Arshdeep Bains in the slot. Bains, whose scoring prowess in the WHL last season earned him a Canucks contract, alertly lifted the stick of the Ontario defender as the pass was coming in and slickly one-timed his shot into the back of the net.

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The goal was the first of Bains’ professional career.

Abbotsford cratered from that point forward, however, with the Reign scoring six unanswered goals to run away with the game.

Tensions boiled over in the third period. After a fight between Vincent Arseneau and Jacob Doty early in the frame, a frustrated Danila Klimovich took matters into his own hands, running the AHL’s back-to-back MVP from behind into the boards in what was an ugly hit from the talented Belarusian forward.

The hit sparked a brawl in the Canucks’ end of the ice, with the Reign players converging on the Canucks’ 2021 second-rounder and dragging him to the ice.

Klimovich, 19, was given a five minute major and 10 minute misconduct for the hit.

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When asked about the physical element of his game last week, Klimovich told Postmedia it’s always been his style.

“I’ve always played like that, back home and here. Here more, because North American hockey is hard, you need to use the body,” he said.

The Pinsk product will have to dial it back if he doesn’t want a target on his back the rest of the AHL season.

Klimovich somehow evaded a suspension and was able to impact the next night’s win, notching a primary assist on a goal by Arseneau to spark the comeback bid.

The assist came as the 6-foot-1, 205-pound right-shot forward ripped a wrister on net after a faceoff win, which was tipped in front by Arseneau.

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Klimovich finished the game with an assist, two shots on goal and an even rating.

As for Karlsson, a goal and two assists in his first two AHL games is the kind of start that could propel the rookie to great things this season.

Considering the consistency he’s shown since training camp, betting on Karlsson to do just that would be wise.

Abbotsford next plays on Friday night at the Coachella Firebirds.


Joni Jurmo in action during the 2022 Vancouver Canucks development camp at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC., on July 12, 2022.
Joni Jurmo in action during the 2022 Vancouver Canucks development camp at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC., on July 12, 2022. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Joni Jurmo

A lot can change in a week for a developing prospect.

In the past seven days, Joni Jurmo has been moved to the right side of the blue-line, has seen a significant increase in power play time and has been promoted to Mikkelin Jukurit’s top pairing.

To top it all off, the Canucks’ 2020 third-round pick scored a goal and added an assist.

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Jurmo scored his goal in Champions Hockey League play on Tuesday, as Jukurit defeated Sparta Praha 6-3. The goal was scored late in the first period as the 20-year-old took a pass at the point and let a wrist shot go short-side post and in.

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Jurmo also added an assist, finishing the game with an even rating in nearly 18 minutes of ice time.

In Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Porin Ässät in the top-flight Finnish Liiga, the 6-foot-4, 198-pound left-shot D-man skated for 17 minutes on the top pairing and had an even rating with two shots on goal.

Just a couple weeks ago, Jukurit head coach and former NHL All-Star Olli Jokinen told Postmedia that Jurmo would have to play his way up the lineup and onto the power play.

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“He’s got unbelievable wheels, he can skate, he can carry the puck but the defending is hard for younger players,” Jokinen said.

“My hopes for him is that he can cement his spot to be a top-four guy, that he can start challenging the guys to be on the power play.”

Well, that didn’t take long.

Jurmo has one goal, two assists and a plus-3 rating in eight games this season. In three Champions Hockey League games, he has one goal, two assists and an even rating.


Jonathan Lekkerimaki is drafted by the Vancouver Canucks during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Jonathan Lekkerimaki is drafted by the Vancouver Canucks during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Photo by Bruce Bennett /Getty Images

Jonathan Lekkerimaki

United, at last.

The three 2022 NHL first-rounders that dot the Djurgårdens IF lineup were aligned together this past week, though the results will have to wait.

Jonathan Lekkerimaki — the Canucks’ 15th overall pick this past summer — played alongside Buffalo Sabres prospect Noah Östlund (16th overall) and Minnesota Wild pick Liam Öhgren (22nd overall) in a pair of low-scoring wins for their HockeyAllsvenskan team, with the third-line trio going without a point and playing around 14 minutes each game.

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Lekkerimaki, 18, had two shots on net in a 2-0 win on Wednesday against Västerviks IK, then put four more on target in a 1-0 shootout win at Västerås IK.

The 5-foot-11, 172-pound right-shot winger with the big offensive game has one goal, one assist and a minus-1 rating in seven games this season.


Aidan McDonough in action in front of Brett Brochu during the Vancouver Canucks development camp at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC., on July 13, 2022.
Aidan McDonough in action in front of Brett Brochu during the Vancouver Canucks development camp at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC., on July 13, 2022. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Aidan McDonough

The week started with a distinct honour for the collegiate senior.

It ended, however, with Aidan McDonough’s No. 7 Northeastern Huskies dropping a 2-1 decision to the No. 15 Providence Friars at home on Saturday night.

McDonough, the Canucks’ 2019 seventh round selection, was named the Hockey East Co-Player of the Week — the second such award in his four-year NCAA career — after erupting for three goals and two assists in the first three games of the season.

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The 6-foot-2, 201-pound left-shot power forward did get a primary assist in Saturday’s loss, feeding the puck from his office in the right faceoff circle to Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, who blasted the puck into the net for the power play goal.

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McDonough, 22, finished the game with an assist, four shots on goal and an even rating.

The Huskies’ captain is tied for 15th place in NCAA goals this season, two behind leader Jack Randl from Omaha.


Elias Pettersson in action during the first day of the Vancouver Canucks Development Camp at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC., on July 11, 2022.
Elias Pettersson in action during the first day of the Vancouver Canucks Development Camp at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC., on July 11, 2022. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Elias Pettersson

Three games played this past week for the well-rounded Örebro HK D-man, who continues to split his time between Sweden’s junior-level J20 Nationell and the top-tier SHL.

Elias Pettersson played for six-and-a-half minutes — a personal high in the SHL — in a 5-1 loss to Brynäs IF on Thursday. The 18-year-old then logged four-and-a-half minutes in Saturday’s 4-2 loss at Rögle BK — Nils Hoglander’s old stomping grounds.

Pettersson, drafted by the Canucks in the third round this past summer, went even in both affairs and didn’t register a point.

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The 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-shot blueliner suited up on Sunday in the juniors, going a plus-1 and getting one shot on goal in a 5-1 win over Södertälje SK.

Pettersson has three goals, six assists and a plus-3 rating in seven J20 Nationell games this season. He has no points and a minus-2 rating in 10 SHL games so far.


Arturs Silovs in action during the Vancouver Canucks development camp at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC., on July 13, 2022.
Arturs Silovs in action during the Vancouver Canucks development camp at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC., on July 13, 2022. Photo by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Arturs Silovs

At Abbotsford Canucks training camp last week, head coach Jeremy Colliton told Postmedia that there is no clear No. 1 goalie.

“You get what you earn,” Colliton said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in all three (goaltenders) and we’re probably gonna need all three this year.”

That may change with Arturs Silovs backstopping the Canucks to their win on Saturday, after playing cleanup duty late in the third period the night before.

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Silovs stopped 25 of 27 shots to help Abbotsford earn their come-from-behind win against the Condors. The night before, Collin Delia was given the start and gave up seven goals on 43 shots. In Dellia’s defence, there wasn’t much defence in front of him, as Abbotsford looked out of sorts after not playing a pre-season game together as a team.

The third goalie is Michael DiPietro, who backed up Silovs on Saturday.

Elsewhere: Defensive prospect Jacob Truscott (2020, Rd. 5) had an assist and a plus-1 rating for No. 6 Michigan on Friday in a 9-2 beat down of No. 9 Boston University. The 20-year-old left-shot defenceman then had a plus-1 rating and three shots on goal in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the same team.

mraptis@postmedia.com

twitter.com/mike_raptis

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