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European Prospect Report: Joni Ikonen returns home with the lessons from a disappointing WJC

A weekly update on the Montreal Canadiens prospects playing overseas.

Finland v Slovakia - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

Joni Ikonen, KalPa, Liiga (Finland)

The Finnish centreman didn’t have the World Junior Hockey Championship that many had hoped for, including himself. He did manage to put up three points, scoring one goal himself and having the opposing side net one for him.

Scott Matla spoke with Ikonen after the loss to the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals, with the prospect expressing his disappointment with not being able to help out more offensively.

Ikonen now goes back to KalPa and Liiga play, and he will undoubtedly have learned from the experience in Buffalo and can build from the World Juniors in order for him to be an impact player for Finland in next year’s tournament.

Lukas Vejdemo, Djurgården, SHL (Sweden)

Over the holiday season, Lukas Vejdemo signed a new two-year contract with Djurgården, something that is telling on how the club feels his development is progressing.

The one problem for Vejdemo is that he is moved up and down the lineup because he can play in so many positions and is defensively aware. With former Montreal Canadien Andreas Engqvist sidelined with concussion symptoms, that move was to the top for Vejdemo recently, anchoring the first line in this weekend’s game against Frölunda.

He himself said to Eyes On The Prize that he is ready to shoulder that role and responsibility for the immediate future, and maybe longer as there will be openings on the roster during the Olympics.

Vejdemo has tied his career high with 17 points in the SHL, and he really should have a few more assists with the opportunities he has created for his teammates.

He is currently producing at 0.52 PPG. An interesting comparison is Artturi Lehkonen who in his last SHL season produced at 0.68. Lehkonen did however go on to have the playoffs of his life after that season.

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

Henrikson spent a game on loan to the AllEttan (third division) team Lindlöven after the first part of the season with Örebro’s U20 team was done. To add to Henrikson’s woes, Lukas Pilö, another young defender in Örebro’s system, seems to have jumped Henrikson on the depth chart for the men’s team.

Pilö has been great over the five games he has played for Örebro, and has had a lot more time on the ice than Henrikson had when he was up with the big club. Pilö will be interesting to follow for the upcoming NHL draft.

Max Friberg, Frölunda, SHL (Sweden)

Friberg works hard every shift and has taken a bit more defensive responsibilities in Frölunda the last few games. He plays tough and solves the problem that arises on the ice, but still a bit more offensive output would have been expected from the former St. John’s IceCaps player.