Lukas Vejdemo, Södertälje SK [Loan], HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden
Vejdemo made his return to the Swedish ice on a Friday night in Södertälje. While he was used sparingly, only playing 13:28, he was strong on the faceoffs, including winning the one that led to Evan Bouchard’s goal to win the game in the last minute.
In the second game of the weekend, Vejdemo was used more and against better opposition. Most of his minutes were against Buffalo Sabres prospect Rasmus Asplund, and Vejdemo didn’t dominate the faceoffs to the same degree.
Having only practised individually and with a few other NHL players during the summer, Lukas will need a bit of an adjustment period, but you would expect him to shine in an environment like the one in Södertälje.
Mattias Norlinder, Frölunda, SHL, Sweden
While everyone has hailed Norlinder’s offensive skills, he really showcased his strong defensive work in both games this week. In Frölunda’s 3-1 loss to Jacob Olofsson’s Skellefteå, he played almost 20 minutes and wasn’t on the ice for any of the goals against.
Norlinder picked up his first assist of the season as he worked really hard deep in his defensive zone to get the puck back and start the attack that in the end resulted in a goal. Interestingly, Norlinder got an assist, but as he had gone to the bench for a change he didn’t get the plus on the scoring play.
Good work defensively by #Habs prospect Mattias Norlinder, gets the puck back after a strong battle, and starts the counter attack that results in a goal. First assist of the season. pic.twitter.com/WXhyUD9vp8— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) October 3, 2020
Norlinders defensive partner, Jens Olsson, had this to say about playing with Norlinder to CMORE:
“It is great! Sometimes you catch yourself staring when he is skating around and having his own show. What a guy! It is so easy to play with him. When he has the puck, you just need to keep your stick on the ice and if the puck arrives you have to finish it — otherwise he’ll finish it himself.”
Jacob Olofsson, Skellefteå AIK, SHL, Sweden
The centre-turned-winger is playing better and better each game, and his ice time is increasing. He also looks more confident in his game with each game that he plays. With no time on special teams, it has been tough for him to get things going, as the referees have been told to clamp down and award minor penalties in greater numbers, especially for hooking and slashing, in order to promote a more offensive type of game.
Hopefully Olofsson will continue to improve after his recent concussion and slowly earn chances on the power play, too.
Jesse Ylönen, Pelicans [Loan], Liiga, Finland
The fast-skating Finn was back on the competitive ice in Lahti and has played a lot right from the start. No points for now, and it was an up-and-down kind of weekend for the Pelicans as they won the opening game 3-1 against Sport, but lost the second game to top team Tappara by a 4-0 score.
Otto Leskinen, KalPa [Loan], Liiga, Finland
Leskinen returned to Liiga and played almost 20 minutes for KalPa when they won 2-1 against Jukurit. Leskinen played on the power play and had quite a few shots.
Joni Ikonen, Ilves, Liiga Finland
Some terrible news for Joni Ikonen this week.
Anton Rasegård and myself previewed the Liiga season with Jokke Nevalainen, and you can listen to that podcast below: