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European Prospect Report: Oliver Kapanen grabs sole possession of U20 scoring lead

The forward adds to his point total, while Frederik Dichow is hung out to dry by his team.

Canada v Finland: Gold Medal Game - 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Andy Devlin/ Getty Images

Oliver Kapanen, KalPa, Liiga, Finland

Another week and another couple of points from Oliver Kapanen, who had two assists in the game against Kärpät on Saturday. While Kapanen ‘only’ notched up a brace of assists in three games to get himself to 10 points (4G, 6A), it was enough to pass Jani Nyman for the best Junior player in Liiga. Nyman is on nine points together with Niko Huuhtanen (Jukurit) and Lenni Hämeenaho (Ässät).

His first assist of the night came when he won the faceoff and then took position in the high slot to help screen the goalie.

The second assist was on the empty-net goal as Kärpät pulled the goalie 3-1 down. It is good to see Kapanen getting that usage as well, and with a two-goal cushion it’s a good school in a professional league for the young center.

Next week: With the Finnish U20 team in Czechia preparing for the WJC

Petteri Nurmi, HPK, Liiga, Finland

The only game played this week ended in a shootout loss for HPK and Nurmi. Once more he was solid in his defensive duties. He must be one of the first names that HPK’s coach Jarno Pikkarainen write down on the roster; since his return to hockey in October, Nurmi has averaged over 19 minutes a game, and that is including the 14 minutes he played in his first game of the season that drags the average down.

Next week: No call-up for Nurmi to the national team, however he must be mentioned around the offices of Hartwall Arena.

Frederik Dichow, Frölunda HC, SHL, Sweden

Dichow played one game this week, a tough game for him and for Frölunda as Växjö got an opportunity to counter-attack the porous Frölunda defence that left Dichow alone many times.

Fredrik Janlind, journalist at Göteborgs Posten, said in the podcast that it was more Frölunda’s defence that was at fault for Dichow’s numbers than Dichow himself. Former Montreal Canadiens defenceman Christian Folin phrased it better when he said, “It can’t be fun to be our goalie at the moment”.

Next week: Dichow will participate in the Deutschland Cup. Denmark will play Austria, Slovakia, and Germany, and he will play two of the games.

Adam Engström, Rögle BK, SHL, Sweden

With Rögle’s struggle in the SHL, Engström has seen a more limited role in the last few games. No one anticipated Rögle to flail this badly. We are seeing the most even competition in ages, and the team has looked solid in international play, but with this situation it is only logical that Engström gets to sit a bit more.

He finished the week with a stint in the U20 league this weekend after having been on a road trip the full week with the SHL team. However, it was a tough game and in the end Engström ended up being on the ice for all three goals against, two of them while Rögle was chasing the game in the third period.

Next week: With the Swedish U20 team in Czechia preparing for the WJC

Miguël Tourigny, Dukla Trencin, Tipos Extraliga, Slovakia

Tourigny scored his first professional goal this week, and added another assist to his list of points. He broke his duck with a goal in the OT loss to Poprad on Sunday night, and he seems to have adjusted well to the professional ranks, albeit not one of the top three leagues in Europe.

Dmitri Kostenko, Kunlun Red Star, KHL, China

Kostenko only played five seconds in his last game with Kunlun. I couldn’t see if it was an injury or if he was just plain benched after a few tough games earlier in the week.

Alexander Gordin, Rostov, VHL, Russia

Three games played, and around 10 minutes in each game. No points from Gordin and it really seems like he has plateaued in his development.

Emil Heineman, Leksands IF, SHL, Sweden

Heineman is in Sweden and on the mend. Recovery and rehab is going according to plan. Per-Ivar Andersson, Leksand’s physio, tells Eyes On The Prize that Montreal has monitored and will greenlight Heineman before he can play in the SHL. However, Mr Andersson thinks that Heneman’s return should happen the week after the international break. Most likely it would be against Frederik Dichow’s Frölunda.

Relevant podcast: The Dispatch — Catching up with Frederik Dichow.