png07113scanucks 03

Article content

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

Advertisement 2

Article content


Article content

Aidan McDonough

Stay in school, kids — you just might score 50 goals one day.

Canucks prospect Aidan McDonough, who passed on a Canucks contract this past off-season to play his senior year in college, hit the half-century mark for No. 12 Northeastern this past week, as the Huskies captain kept pace in the early running for the NCAA scoring race.

McDonough potted the 50th of his collegiate career in a hard-fought 4-3 shootout win over rival Boston College on Tuesday, with the 6-foot-2,201-pound left-shot power forward rifling home a one-timer from his customary spot at the right faceoff circle on the power play.

Advertisement 3

Article content

McDonough finished the game with a goal, three shots on net and a minus-1 rating.

The Massachusetts product, who leads the team in goals (4) and assists (4), also notched a helper and had four shots on goal in a tight 3-2 loss to No. 19 UMass Lowell on Saturday.

McDonough had a chance in the last minute to tie the game, but was stopped in tight by the River Hawks goaltender.

To score 50 goals in the NCAA is one thing. To recognize that it’ll take more to become an every day NHLer shows why McDonough, a business administration major, is a three-time member of the Hockey East All-Academic Team.

“A lot of things went into it. I mean, getting my education, graduating is really important to me and my family. And just becoming a better all-around hockey player. Preparing myself more for pro hockey,” he told the media a couple weeks ago.

Advertisement 4

Article content

“Becoming a better skater, getting stronger. Being more of a 200-foot player,” McDonough said. “I think at the next level it’ll be even more important for me aside from scoring goals, which I obviously love to do. I can help the team doing that, but there are still parts of my game that I still think I need a lot of work on.”

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement 5

Article content

It doesn’t take a business major to crunch the odds of a 195th-overall pick making the show.

Less than half of all draft picks realize their dream of playing in an NHL game. That number drops to one-in-four for seventh rounders.

So for McDonough, bettering himself physically and mentally over one more season gives him the best chance at success in hockey, and in whatever may follow.

McDonough, who was one goal shy (25) of being the NCAA’s top scorer last season, is two goals behind the current NCAA front-runner.

The Canucks prospect has eight points (4G, 4A) and a plus-4 rating in six games this season.


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

Expectations are high — not only for the Canucks’ new management group, but for their prized 2022 draft pick.

Advertisement 6

Article content

So far this season, those expectations have yet to be met.

Jonathan Lekkerimaki, the 15th overall selection this past summer, is off to a slow start in Sweden’s second-tier HockeyAllsvenskan.

Through nine games, the talented 18-year-old winger has one goal and two assists while playing in a third-line role.

There’s really not much to dissect here: this is a goal scorer who isn’t only not scoring, he isn’t giving himself a chance lately.

Lekkerimaki did notch an assist in a 4-2 win over IF Björklöven on Friday, but like in Wednesday’s 3-1 win over HC Vita Hästen, the Canucks prospect did not register a shot on goal.

In fact, the only goal the 5-foot-11, 172-pound right-shot winger has scored this season was on a tap-in on a two-on-one in early October.

Advertisement 7

Article content

Advertisement 8

Article content

That being said, it’s still early in the season. Lekkerimaki is too pure of a shooter to be bogged down by a long goalless streak. This is a player who scored seven goals in 26 games as a 17-year-old in the SHL last season, employing his heavy, accurate shot to beat Sweden’s best netminders.

The HockeyAllsvenskan is a tough league for a teenager, but it shouldn’t be this hard for a player with this much offensive pedigree.


Vancouver Canucks prospect Joni Jurmo (#7) playing for Jukurit of the Finnish Liiga last season.
Vancouver Canucks prospect Joni Jurmo (#7) playing for Jukurit of the Finnish Liiga last season. Photo by Mikko Kankainen /Jukurit

Joni Jurmo

Another week, another deployment on the top pairing of the Mikkelin Jukurit blue-line.

Joni Jurmo, the Canucks’ 2020 third-round pick, played both the left and the right side of the defence in a pair of Finnish Liiga games this past week, to mixed results.

The fleet-footed 6-foot-4, 198-pound left-shot D-man played the right side in a 3-1 win over KalPa on Wednesday and played it well, going a plus-1 with two shots on goal and a secondary assist in over 20 minutes of ice time. The assist came with Jurmo leading a rush up the ice and dishing the puck to a teammate to start the scoring sequence.

Advertisement 9

Article content

Advertisement 10

Article content

Jurmo played the left side in a 4-1 loss at Vaasan Sport on Saturday. While he was on the ice during Jukurit’s only goal — a power play marker — the Espoo product went a minus-2 overall. On the first goal against, Jurmo played his man at the sideboards, who fired a shot towards the goal and the rebound was deposited into the net.

Advertisement 11

Article content

The second goal against came during a scrum in front, with Jurmo and a bevy of teammates unable to clear the puck away from danger.

The Canucks prospect finished the game with three shots on goal and played nearly 19 minutes.

Jurmo has one goal, three assists and a plus-2 rating in 10 games this season.


Elias Pettersson is selected by the Vancouver Canucks during Round Three of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 08, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec.
Elias Pettersson is selected by the Vancouver Canucks during Round Three of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 08, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. Photo by Bruce Bennett /Getty Images

Elias Pettersson

He’s putting in the work — and getting rewarded for it.

Elias Pettersson played four games in five nights this past week, splitting his hectic schedule for Örebro HK between the junior-level J20 Nationell and the top-flight SHL.

For all the effort, the well-rounded 6-foot-2, 184-pound left-shot defenceman notched his first SHL assist in a 4-1 win over Färjestad BK on Thursday. The assist was a secondary one, with Pettersson whipping a shot towards the goal from the point and a teammate whacking a loose puck into the net.

Advertisement 12

Article content

The 18-year-old typically averages around three minutes a game in the SHL this season, but was given regular blue-line duty on Saturday, playing for nearly 13 minutes in a 5-2 win over the Malmö Redhawks. Pettersson went even in the win with one shot on goal.

He has now appeared in 13 SHL games (1A, minus-2) and eight games in the J20 Nationell (3G, 6A, even).


Abbotsford Canucks head coach Jeremy Colliton gathers the group together for some instructions at training camp in Port Coquitlam on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022.
Abbotsford Canucks head coach Jeremy Colliton gathers the group together for some instructions at training camp in Port Coquitlam on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. Photo by (Mike Raptis/ Submitted) /jpg

Abbotsford Canucks

If you want to see a resilient hockey team, you might have to drive a little further down Highway 1.

The Abbotsford Canucks opened their season with a four-game road trip and the Canucks’ AHL affiliate has not only won two of those games so far, but has come from behind in both of them.

Power play goals, big saves and clutch defensive plays were the keys to Friday’s 4-3 win at the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the Seattle Kraken’s farm team. The game was played in the 700-seat Kraken Community Iceplex, as the Firebirds’ new arena in the Palm Springs area is due to open later this year.

Advertisement 13

Article content

“Sometimes you gotta win when it doesn’t look perfect, and I think we did that,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said after the game.

Forward Sheldon Dries had a goal and two assists, while former Vancouver Giants forward Tristen Nielson was given the game’s first star with one goal and one assist.

Arturs Silovs stopped 23 of 26 shots for the win.

Advertisement 14

Article content

This section will be updated upon conclusion of Sunday night’s game against the Firehawks …

Elsewhere: Diminutive centre Connor Lockhart (2021, Rd. 6) had an assist in a 5-2 win for the Peterborough Petes over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday, upping his points total to 13 (2G, 11A) in 10 OHL games this season. The 19-year-old is second in the league in assists and 11th in points.

mraptis@postmedia.com

twitter.com/mike_raptis

Advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Source link