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European Prospect Report: Updates on the Canadiens players, and an introduction to Nils Höglander

Stats and highlights for Montreal’s prospects, and a look at what else is taking place in Europeans hockey.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Joonas Nättinen, JYP, Liiga

Nättinen has started to produce at an insane level when it comes to Liiga, and if he continues at this pace I find it difficult to believe he will be in JYP next season, as KHL and NLA teams should be lining up to try and get his services. In the three games this week he produced four points — one goal and three assists — with all three assists coming in the same game.

Nättinen’s accumulation of points has made him climb to 50th in Liiga scoring and sixth in JYP, this while having had to sit out a few games due to injuries.

JYP has climbed to fifth place in Liiga and much of that is down to a healthy Nättinen playing his heart out every night.

Arvid Henrikson, AIK U-20’s, Super Elit

No games for Henrikson this week.

Lukas Vejdemo, Djurgården, SHL

In the first two games Vejdemo was a -1, but had a great chance where he could have scored, hitting the bar instead. It is symbolic of both the season for him and for Djurgården as a team, as a lot of bounces haven’t gone their way.

Vejdemo is getting a bit more time on the penalty kill, and when I watched the first Djurgården game in a while (Vejdemos third game of the week). Vejdemo did play well; more defensively secure than I remembered. Vejdemo keeps getting big minutes from coach Ohlsson and that should be a sign that he is growing into a good centre. It was also Vejdemo that started the comeback from 2-0 down by grabbing a rebound and setting up Possler for the first goal.

He is still a ways off from the NHL, but he should be groomed well as Ohlsson was the main offensive coach for Lehkonen in Frölunda. It seems to me that Ohlsson is making him more defensively sound to bring him up in the lines next year.

Magnus Nygren, Färjestad, SHL

With an assist in two games played, Nygren continues his steady production.

The European Tour

Champions Hockey League

Frölunda goes into the CHL final for the third year in a row; earning a berth in the championship game in each year of the tournament’s existence. This will be the first time that they get the chance to win the trophy in front of a home crowd, as the previous two finals has finished with a loss in Luleå to cap off the first season, and a win against Kärpät last year.

In this year’s final they will come across the surprise team of Sparta Prague, something that has to be considered good for the competition. It is the first time a Czech team (or a team from outside Sweden and Finland, for that matter) has contested the final. While having gone through against the Växjö Lakers in the semi-final, they will still count as underdogs in the final.

In Czech Republic, a lot of the pre-game talk regarding the final has been that Frölunda will have to use their own arena that has a capacity of 7,527 (5,000 standing) because the main arena in Gothenburg is being used for the Sweden Hockey Games, with Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, and Sweden playing two days later.

Nils Höglander

He turned 16 last month, and he has already turned heads in the stands. Höglander scored twice in AIK’s win over Tingsryd in Wednesday’s game in Allsvenskan (Sweden’s second division).

“I was lucky when I came in alone with the goalie, I actually don’t know what I did,” admitted Höglander to C More after the game.

Höglander is turning into a fan favourite among AIK fans. Having only played three games with the U20s before going to the men’s team hasn’t held him back, and it will be interesting to see what he can do long term for an AIK team that is in need of goals as well as points in the standings to make the promotion playoffs.