Josh Brook, Krefeld Pinguine [Loan], DEL, Germany
It took some time, but in the end Josh Brook made his debut in the DEL with Krefeld, and he made an impact directly as he got an assist in the game. He played heavy minutes after his positive COVID-19 test, which indicates that he has recovered nicely.
Krefeld is playing a game as this is being written, but that game will go in next week’s report.
Mattias Norlinder, Frölunda, SHL, Sweden
In two vastly different games for Frölunda, the team started with an 8-0 loss against Växjö, and followed that up with a 3-2 win against Rögle, the the best team in Sweden at the moment (points percentage wise).
Norlinder was minus-2 against Växjö in over 16 minutes of play, and to be fair there was not really anything he could do as Frölunda imploded around him. There were defensive and communication breakdowns left, right, and centre. Even the Växjö players looked shocked at what was happening.
Looking at some of the highlights from the Rögle game, it seems that Norlinder is getting more confident. The interception below is exactly what we have come to expect from the defensive prospect. The hidden pass, while going the opposite direction, out to his forward really did deserve a better finish.
There were plenty of plays like this in his time in Modo and during the pre-season, and it would be good to see him getting more confident and starting to make these kinds of plays more often at a higher level.
In a chaotic sequence, he got his first goal in quite some time. After a couple of broken plays, and while benefiting from a delayed call, Norlinder gets the puck close to the net and roofs if for his second goal of the season.
Norlinder is still recovering a bit from his upper-body injury and the Frölunda coaches have not put him back on the first power-play unit. It remains to be seen when he returns there, but judging by defensive coach Kristofer Näslund’s comments, he should get back to the first unit sooner rather than later. Mr. Näslund also addresses Norlinder’s shot in the Top 25 Under 25: Number 5 - Mattias Norlinder podcast.
Jan Myšák, HC Litvinov, Extraliga, Czech Republic
The first point for Myšák came in his 10th Extraliga game against Mladá Boleslav, where he worked in the corner to get the puck to his teammate and around to the defender.
There is a lot to like about this play. As soon as he gets the puck loose he is starting to work his way toward the net. While he is a bit late to screen the goalie, he is charging for the potential rebound from the goalkeeper as soon as the shot comes.
Interestingly, he is being used more on the penalty kill than on the power play, and in the second game of the week against Oceláři Třinec, He was used slightly over three minutes while short-handed and received no power-play time. He has gotten power-play time before, but not in any large amounts, and it will be interesting to see if this trend holds when he returns from the World Juniors.
Jacob Olofsson, Timrå IK, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden
Olofsson has returned to Timrå and has played good minutes, in all situations, for his old team. In three games he has two goals, and has played over 17 minutes per contest. He has been played as a centre and it is easy to see that his confidence is growing with every shift and opportunity.
Olofsson got off the mark with a power-play goal.
In the second game of the week he worked hard on the penalty kill, and when the puck got out of the zone and his teammate got out of the box and gave chase, Olofsson joined the rush and got his second goal with an easy tap-in.
Alexander Gordin, SKA-1946 Saint Petersburg, MHL, Russia
No games for Gordin this week.
Last week, Jesperi Kotkaniemi left the report. This week, Lukas Vejdemo has exited as well, as he left Södertälje to prepare for the Montreal Canadiens camp.
On top of that, Liiga in Finland closed down for three weeks (until after Christmas) and it remains to be seen what happens with the two Finns currently on loan to Finnish teams. The decision will probably linger until a decision has been made in regards to an American Hockey League season.
Otto Leskinen, KalPa [Loan], Liiga, Finland
Jesse Ylönen, Pelicans [Loan], Liiga, Finland
Joni Ikonen, Ilves, Liiga Finland
With Liiga on a COVID-19 hiatus, uncertainty reigns in regards to Ikonen’s return.