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European Prospect Report: Joni Ikonen looks set for the World Junior Hockey Championship

A weekly report on the Montreal Canadiens prospects playing in Europe.

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Shanna Martin / Eyes on the Prize

Joni Ikonen, KalPa, Liiga (Finland)

Ikonen was with the young Lions of Finland at the U20 tournament in Balashikha, Russia. Finland had a tough time in the tournament, starting off with a 3-2 loss in overtime to Czech Republic in the opening game, losing a 6-4 decision to Sweden the next day, and in the last game of the tournament falling 2-0 to Russia.

The good news is that Ikonen has been centring the first line, and has gotten a lot of time on the power play and with the extra attacker; a clear indication that the coaches trust him, and he should be getting confidence from that.

Ikonen will return to KalPa and Liiga play this week. While the adjustment to the professional league has lacked point production, it can be at least partially explained by the adjustment period.

Not getting on the board in the U20 tournament raises a bit of concern, but on the other hand Finland struggled on a general level during this tournament, and reading the scoresheets does not give the full picture.

Ikonen should be a lock for Finland for the World Juniors that start in late December.

Lukas Vejdemo, Djurgården, SHL (Sweden)

No games played this week. We did however catch up with Vejdemo after last Monday’s practice. You can listen to the full interview over at my SoundCloud stream for interviews. Vejdemo speaks about the adjustment to a new coach and system as well as his own sophomore slump.

Arvid Henrikson, Örebro U-20, SuperElite South, (Sweden)

No games for Henrikson this week.

Max Friberg, Frölunda, SHL (Sweden)

Frölunda crashed out in spectacular fashion to Liberec in the Champions Hockey League. Friberg had a few shots in his only game of the week, but couldn’t help Frölunda to go through.