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European Prospect Report: Lukas Vejdemo’s nifty play sets up the game-winner

A weekly update on the Montreal Canadiens prospects playing overseas.

HC Davos v Djurgarden Stockholm - Champions Hockey League Photo by HC Davos/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images

Joni Ikonen, KalPa, Liiga, Finland

The roller-coaster season for Joni Ikonen continues, where you see improvements one week, his coach sees things differently and slashes his ice time the next.

Ikonen (#61) struggled defensively a few times this week and got exposed on a few plays, watching the puck and forgetting his defensive assignment.

The defensive zone is where his game probably needs the most work. Improving there should benefit Ikonen’s playing time and boost his confidence to get results at the other end.

With KalPa currently in the playoffs without having to go through the wild-card round, there is a possibility the team could get a few days off between the regular season and the playoffs, something that could benefit him in the long run.

Ikonen is 15th in KalPa’s internal scoring, and while the expectations would have been higher before the season, he is slowly adjusting to the pro ranks. A full summer with less drama and more focus than last year should benefit him a lot. KalPa has also struggled during the season and has relied a bit more than expected on older players to lead them out of the dire situation they found themselves in.

Alexandre Texier got a goal this week, and really should have had another but he got the shot wide. (You can see the goal here.)

Lukas Vejdemo, Djurgården, SHL, Sweden

Another week and another stellar performance from the underrated Swedish centre.

In the match-up against the league-leading Växjö Lakers, he stood tall, being relied upon heavily with over 16 minutes of ice time, fourth among forwards. He was +1 and was used to counter the two top lines that Växjö iced.

The one place where he really struggled was that he had less that 30% faceoff success, but against the best team in Sweden at the moment, it just shows an area where he needs to improve.

Vejdemo had a goal and an assist, both coming in a 7-0 win against Karlskrona, which was the first team to be unofficially eliminated from playoff contention.

The goal was a good individual effort.

But more impressive might be the assist on the game-winning goal, Vejdemo’s hockey sense is something that regularly comes up in discussions with his coach, and it is visible here with a deft behind-the-back pass to really build up the goal.

With the two points, Vejdemo is resting steadily at .50 points per game in SHL play, and is tied for fifth in Djurgården scoring. Djurgården is sitting second in the standings and are looking to a deep playoff run when the play offs starts in a few weeks.

Arvid Henrikson, Örebro U-20, SuperElite, Sweden

Two games for Henrikson this week, but not much change along the stats line.

Max Friberg, Frölunda, SHL, Sweden

Friberg got a bit of an extended role with a few Frölunda players going to the Olympic camps. He’s still a bit low on offensive output, but he continues to battle hard every game.