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European Prospect Review: Nättinen nets a brace, Lehkonen draws top-line matchup

Nättinen and Lehkonen playing key roles for their teams in playoff runs.


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Joonas Nättinen, JYP

With JYP losing their first game in the semifinals series on Friday night  with 4-2 after being 2-0 up on HIFK, Nättinen's team needed to win on Saturday to stay in the series. He stepped up to the plate big time, scoring two goals in a 5-2 win. Unfortunately for Nättinen and JYP, HIFK got revenge on Monday night with a commanding 7-1 victory.

The first goal was a hard slap shot from the centre of the ice, and the second goal came when he joined the counter-attack as the third forward, finishing off with ease.

Nättinen was the Man of the Match, but JYP still faces a tough task, as HIFK won the regular season running away.

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Lukas Vejdemo, Djurgården

Vejdemo's season — both in the SHL and U20 ranks — has finished, with the surprising rookie claiming the junior title for a second straight season.


Magnus Nygren, Färjestad BK

Nygren is at Sweden's pre-tournament training camp for the World Championship. His team will play Switzerland on Thursday in the first practice games for the tournament.


Artturi Lehkonen, Frölunda HC

Lehkonen played two games this week: the first two games of the SHL semi-finals. It is a tough series against Luleå, and for people wondering if he can handle the bigger players, I can tell you the he is being matched by Luleå's biggest line of Johan Harju, Jonathan Granström, and Peter Cehlarik, all weighing in over 90 kg each. He is still active and not shy about throwing his weight around. He is definitely one of the best players for Frölunda so far in the series.

He was involved in the only goal scored by Frölunda in Game One, his strong play along the boards freeing up the puck for a weak shot from the blue line that somehow went in. He was initially credited with an assist, but it was retracted during the intermission.

His assist in the second game came when he took control of the puck from a scrum in the corner and passed it up to the blue line, where the defencemen worked a pass for a goal.

Lehkonen has nine (5+4) points in seven games, only failing to record a point in the game he had one taken away. He leads all active skaters in playoff scoring, ahead of Lucas Wallmark and Ryan Lasch, the latter of whom won the scoring title in the regular season. All without any empty-net or power-play points. Impressive to say the least.

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Martin Réway, Fribourg-Gotteron

Réway is still in Slovakia preparing for the World Championship.