Jesse Ylönen, Pelicans, Liiga, Finland
The only player with a point this week is Jesse Ylönen, who showcased his skating, vision, and fast mind on a gorgeous play to set up the game-winning goal for the Pelicans against JYP.
Great individual effort by Jesse Ylönen yesterday, grabbing the lose puck working along the boards and making the quick turn to create space and set up a pass. Full credit to Ylönen here. #Habs #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/HkIwUELfYX— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) March 3, 2019
The way that Ylönen used his speed to draw defenders in and then turn to create more space for himself and set up the pass is what we know Ylönen can do, and what he has to do more often. Using the speed and hockey sense more to facilitate play will bring his playmaking skills into the game a lot more.
Joni Ikonen, KalPa, Liiga, Finland
Joni spoke with Eyes On The Prize on Sunday and revealed that he had “a small muscle injury, day to day.” KalPa has suffered from Ikonen’s absence and are more or less out of the playoff race.
Mathematically they can still make it; they need 12 points in four games and other results will have to go their way. It was evident that Ikonen’s return brought the team closer to playoff contention, there was just too much that had gone wrong earlier in the season. There is no promotion/relegation series in Finland, and Ikonen looks to be in for a long off-season, something that should benefit him in his progression towards an NHL career.
By our understanding, in order for him to play in the AHL after the Liiga season has finished, he would have to pass through waivers, as he played in Europe after February 1, and the Montreal Canadiens will probably not make that gamble as Ikonen has impressed since his return form injury.
Jacob Olofsson, Timrå IK, SHL, Sweden
Olofsson has been sitting out a few games due to a knee injury. Coach Andersson of Timrå told us that “He should return to the ice later this week.” It means that Olofsson will return to be able to play the most daunting series in Swedish hockey: the relegation round. As it stands now, Timrå will face the top team of HockeyAllsvenskan in a seven-game straight promotion/relegation series later this spring.
Alexander Romanov, CSKA, KHL, Russia
The KHL playoffs have started, and as expected, Romanov’s deployment has followed the early-season structure; get a few shifts in the first period, fewer shifts in the second period, then if CSKA is ahead and there is the short line change, Romanov comes in fresh in the third.
When The Tsar has played, he has looked good. Part of it is obviously that he is a bit rested, but he plays exactly how Coach Nikitin wants, and Romanov plays to his strength whenever he is on the ice. He is usually registered as a seventh defender, and hopefully he can prove to Mr. Nikitin that he deserves to get rewarded with more ice time during the playoffs. It is clear that CSKA will look to Romanov in case of an injury happening to another defender during the stretch to the Gagarin Cup Final.