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European Prospect Review: Lukas Vejdemo impresses in his rookie season

Playing in every regular season game for his club, Lukas Vejdemo has been nothing short of impressive this season in the SHL.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The last round of the SHL regular season was on Tuesday night, and the only Canadiens prospect in that league who has played every regular season game for his team is Lukas Vejdemo. The Djurgården forward has been an outstanding surprise this season.

In other news, Magnus Nygren was rested ahead of the playoffs, Artturi Lehkonen returned to the ice after some time away, and Martin Reway still hasn't played a game in the playoffs. Perhaps the Fribourg coach left it too late, as they are down 3-0 in their series.

ALL week 31

Joonas Nättinen, JYP

The Jyväskyläs captain continues to work himself for team and country. With the Liiga playoffs around the corner, he collected another assist, in addition to solid defensive play.

His assist came in a game against the Pelicans, and he followed that up by managing to be an even plus/minus during a 7-6 overtime loss. In his final game of the week, he was plus-one while playing against the Patrik Laine and Sebastian Aho duo of Kärpät.

Nattinen week 31

Lukas Vejdemo, Djurgården Hockey

Vejdemo has surprised everyone this season, so much so that RTS had him on the list of top five prospects not currently with the Montreal Canadiens. He added an assist to his already impressive rookie season total in the SHL, finishing with a total of 17 points. His great work ethic gave him the puck behind the goal, and with great vision and confidence he casually waited for his forward to appear before setting up the goal.

He finished the season tenth on his team in scoring, having played in every game for Djurgården. It is to be considered a great season for him, as he finishes fourth among SHL U20's in scoring, only behind highly touted prospects Oskar Lindblom (Brynäs / Philadelphia Flyers), Axel Holmström (Skellefteå / Detroit Red Wings), and Gustav Forsling (Linköping / Chicago Blackhawks).

Djurgården will take on Brynäs in a wild card series later this week.

Vejdemo week 31

Magnus Nygren, Färjestad BK

Since Mikael Wikstrand returned to hockey after the Ottawa Senators gave him the go ahead, Nygren has been a bit held back. This isn't really due to his play, as a fresh  and energetic Wikstrand has been taking up some space in the lineup.

In addition, Färjestads coach Tommy Samuelsson said "Joel [Eriksson-Ek], [Tomas] Skogs and [Magnus] Nygren have all been playing close to the edge in regards to injuries and illnesses the last couple of weeks, so they won't play the last game."  Despite being held out for seemingly precautionary reasons, Nygren finished the season third in scoring for his club.

Färjestad will take on Luleå in a quarterfinal that should be a good series to follow.

Nygren week 31

Artturi Lehkonen, Frölunda HC

Lehkonen returned to the lineup for Frölunda in the last game of the regular season against Brynäs, centring the third line. He played about his average amount of minutes, so it can be assumed that the injury is behind him.

Personally, I wonder if Frölunda held Lehkonen back to a degree in order to rest him (and certain other players) for the playoffs. Frölunda will take on the winner of Djurgården vs Brynäs in the wild card series. Lehkonen finishes sixth in team scoring, with all above him receiving more power play time. He also finishes tied for second with six game winning goals in the whole of SHL.

Lehkonen week 31

Martin Réway, Fribourg-Gottéron

Martin Réway hasn't played in any of the three playoff games for Fribourg-Gottéron. In their first game, coach Gerd Zenhäusern preferred a bigger lineup against a physical Genève-Servette team, so he was trying to match that as best he could.

For the second game, Réway was left out because of the flu, and he would miss Tuesday night's game as well. Fribourg-Gottéron is currently 3-0 down in the Quarterfinal series vs Genève-Servette, so one has to wonder if Reway will even get a chance to skate in the playoffs.