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European Prospect Update: Artturi Lehkonen, the most underrated Habs prospect

Can Sparta Prague reach the final in CHL? Will Lehkonen continue at centre? Can Vejdemo continue like he has started?

Frolunda HC

For a while it looked like whatever Artturi Lehkonen did, Martin Reway could do as well.

This week, though, it seems like Lehkonen, the most underrated prospect in the Canadiens system, took a small but well-deserved win.

That being said, the prospect that actually has impressed me the most is Lukas Vejdemo.

He has made the transition to SHL seem quite easy, and has looked great in the process


In last night's Champions Hockey League action, Djurgården, Frölunda and Sparta Prague went through to the next round, while JYP and Färjestad were eliminated.

Joonas Nättinen, JYP Jyväskylä

It's difficult to watch Finnish games, so I was keen to watch the CHL game between TPS  and JYP. Unfortunately Nättinen was sidelined for this game, and the previous one, and we've yet to be told why.

JYP first suffered a 2-1 loss to Blues, then pulled through with a 3-0 win against KooKoo, and finished their week off with two losses, 5-0 to SaiPa and 4-1 to TPS in the CHL.

Nattinen's last appearance was against Blues, where he scored the game-winning goal. JYP is currently in eighth place in Liiga.


Lukas Vejdemo, Djurgården IF

To be honest, I thought Vejdemo would do well in SHL, but not this well. Until last week, Vejdemo's young line had been the best line for Djurgården.  I am surprised of the quality of play they produce, and in the last game against Malmö, Vejdemo finally received some time on the power play.

Djurgården has gotten off to a good start. They are currently sixth in the standings, and I have to say that is better than I expected. Much of this is due to the line of Alvarez, Rundqvist and Vejdemo, as they compose a quality line that I did not anticipate seeing in Djurgården. The question is; will the tight schedule drain him in the long run?


Magnus Nygren, Färjestad

There's no doubt about it, Nygren made a stupid mistake the other day, especially considering his own experience with concussions. He was called for a bad hit (checking to the head). It seemed more like a mis-timed hit, but after listening to him speak to his concussion issues in interviews, I expected better from him.

Färjestad shadows the top team in the standings, and that's where everyone more or less guessed they would be this season.


Artturi Lehkonen, Frölunda

Lehkonen was used as a centre the last couple of weeks, and while he's done reasonably well in this role, he has often ended up in the same situation as last year - covering the counter attack - compared to his preseason games, where he was on an all out offensive assault.

Lehkonen was moved back to the wing, which resulted in a few more points this week. With Janmark finally getting the nod in Dallas, it's time for Frölunda to solve the centre situation once and for all.

It remains to be seen if the solution is to call up players that have been on loan, or find a replacement for a first- or second-line centre on the open market. The fact is that Frölunda is on top of the SHL standings, even without an NHL caliber centre. That's astonishing, and something that has all the experts in Sweden reevaluating their pick of who can win the SHL this year. It is early, but Frölunda has started the season off impressively.


Martin Reway, Sparta Prague

Reway seems to have taken the criticism from his coach to heart, logging normal minutes in all games this week.

Reway now has a new position on the powerplay: hovering on the blue line, where he provides a very accurate slap shot, and chipped in with an assist for the second week in a row.

After a few losses Sparta now resides fifth in the standings, a bit low for the aspirations they have, but looking at the CHL draw, I could see Sparta reaching the final from that their side of the draw.