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European Prospect Report: Jesse Ylönen gets to work on offence

The winger is scoring goals, Frederik Dichow is making saves, and Alexander Romanov is still being eased into the professional game.

NHL: JUN 28 Montreal Canadiens Development Camp Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Frederik Dichow, SuperElite, Malmö U20, Sweden

Readers of the site knew that Coach Blomqvist had some great comments regarding the latest goaltending prospect in the Montreal Canadiens’ system, and eyebrows were raised when Dichow didn’t get the first start of the weekend on Friday night. However, with two more games to play, he was sure to see some action.

“The Gnome” got to play the second game against Södertälje, and came away with a hard-earned win after Malmö took some penalties when the game was still close.

He had a .969 save percentage in his first game, and followed that up with a .964 mark in a game that went all the way to a shootout. He saved three penalties to take the win with him back to Malmö.

Having only watched the highlights, I have to say I like Dichow’s agility and lateral movement, and the fact that he sometimes stays upright is great considering his size. That will allow him to read the game more easily, and it can only increase his understanding of the game.

He will need to work on his rebound control and get the pucks to the corners if he can. He is also falling down to the butterfly position a bit too fast on certain occasions, and if he continues to do that opponents will just learn to shoot high. In some ways, he needs to calm down a bit and trust himself more.

Still, the first weekend in the Swedish SuperElite was a good one, and leaving his first two games with two wins and a .967 save percentage is a great thing to build on. He is far from a finished product, but there are some building blocks that merit the Canadiens grabbing him in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Jesse Ylönen, Lahti Pelicans, Liiga, Finland

It was an important weekend for Ylönen. International play in the Champions Hockey League had him a bit contained, and domestic competition allowed him to step up. While he was active in the first game, he pushed the gas pedal in the second game where he was involved in almost everything that happened.

He started by geting a fast shot off that hit the post, which many thought was inside the net. On the same shift, he used his great skating to contain the breakout so the Pelicans could steal the puck, leading to the opening goal of the game. Ylönen then scored from in close to give the Pelicans a 2-1 lead.

Ylönen played all over the offensive zone on the power play, and here he creates space by being in the area and drawing the attention of two players.

It was a different Ylönen who took the ice in league play compared to the version he was in international action. He will need to excel in both types of competition before he is ready for the NHL. However, it was encouraging to see him so involved, getting to new positions on the power play and being used in different situations.

Arsen Khisamutdinov, CSK VVS Samara, VHL, Russia

The big Russian was demoted to the VHL just before the KHL season started, but he continued in the minor league as he finished off in the MHL last season. He now has three points in four games, and his opening goal of the season was a lesson in how to use your body to break in front of the goalie to score.

He continued with an absolutely filthy shootout goal.

Alexander Romanov, CSKA, KHL, Russia

Romanov got to see similar ice time against Saint Petersburg in the ‘Battle of the Armies’ as last season: around six minutes. It was evident that he had been told to risk nothing, playing at depth when his own team was in the offensive zone to cover potentials breaks, and he never stepped up to deliver the big hit we know he can. He leads CSKA in hits, with eight, which is impressive considering the limited ice time he sometimes get.

It is easy to understand Coach Nikitin’s usage of Romanov when the army rivalry game comes as early as this, especially considering the shaky start that CSKA has had. What Canadiens fans should take to heart is the fact that the blue-liner is being used a lot more in other games and that his ice time is trending upward.

In some games it really hurts that Romanov doesn’t see any time on either special teams unit. There was one game with over 20 penalty minutes combined, and he had to sit on the bench for all of them.

Personally, I am not as impressed with the Kiselevich - Marchenko pairing, and I would expect Romanov to move up the lineup if they continue to struggle.

Mattias Norlinder, Modo, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden

Modo will play their first competitive game of the season on Friday.

Jacob Olofsson, Skellefteå AIK, SHL, Sweden.

Olofsson is out with a concussion and is listed as day-to-day.

Joni Ikonen, KalPa, Liiga, Finland

Ikonen has suffered a leg injury and has no listed return date on the KalPa website.