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European Prospect Report: All quiet on the Eastern front

Oliver Kapanen is the lone overseas Habs prospect with a shot at a WJC roster spot, but an injury recovery may impact his selection.

Frederik Dichow, Kristianstad, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden

It was a tough week not only for Dichow but for the whole of the Kristianstad team, which suffered from a winter cold outbreak. A visibly tired Dichow guarded the net on Wednesday night and suffered through the game, finally getting pulled after the second intermission. Until then he had fought valiantly against opponents, a leaky defence, as well as his health. Both goalies in Kristianstad were ill last week and both struggled in their respective games. It was confirmed before the games that it wasn’t COVID-related.

Dichow was left out of Friday’s game, but is expected to be back for practice as you read this.

He is not eligible for the World Juniors Division II tournament, held in his native Denmark this year, and will continue to play in HockeyAllsvenskan throughout December.

Alexander Gordin, HC Sochi, KHL, Russia

There was only one game for the Russian this week, a 5-0 loss to Salavat Yulaev. While Gordin is sticking around Sochi’s KHL team, the trade from the SKA system hasn’t worked out the way he had hoped. He is getting less than eight minutes a game, and not dressing for all of Sochi’s games in the KHL, but rather every third one.

Jacob Olofsson, Timrå, SHL, Sweden.

Olofsson’s loan to Frölunda ended and this week he returned to Timrå. In similar fashion to before the loan, he ended up playing little to no time. He did manage to get a secondary assist in the second game after his return.

I still struggle to see Olofsson getting the time that he needs on the ice in Timrå, but hopefully he can grow into a role either there or with another team that might take him on a loan assignment.

Oliver Kapanen, KalPa, Liiga, Finland.

The Montreal prospect was selected for the World Junior Championship roster, but it will be difficult for him to challenge for a spot high up in the lineup having been out injured since the 4-Nations in Sweden.

If he makes the final selection, his versatility is something that will make him extremely useful for the Finnish team come the tournament, just don’t expect him to shine, but rather do his work in the shadows. The top lines for the lion cubs will feature a who’s who of the upcoming drafts’ top prospects, with Joakim Kemell leading the charge.

Mattias Norlinder, Frölunda, SHL / Montreal Canadiens, NHL / Laval Rocket, AHL

There is still no news about what will happen with Norlinder, Montreal said he’d play three games with the Rocket before a decision would be made, but they also said he would get a say in things. We will see if this will be the last entry for Norlinder in the EPR.

Dmitri Kostenko, Khimik, VHL, Russia

Still out with an undisclosed injury.