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European Prospect Report: Oliver Kapanen improves his point total

Credit: KalPa

Due to Patrik taking some time off, he was rewarded with a week off from the European Prospect Report. I will do my best to not let him down with this weekly update.

David Reinbacher

18y, EHC Kloten, NL, Switzerland

The Montreal Canadiens’ most recent first-round selection is still out with an injury. For all of you not familiar with German writing, “1-4 Wochen” translates to “1-4 weeks.” The 18-year-old Austrian currently sits at one goal in three games played in the Swiss top tier. His time on ice per game, currently hampered by the injury he sustained in his most recent game, sits at 14:08.

If you want to make David’s recovery a more enjoyable one, you can always send a congratulations his way on Wednesday, when he celebrates his 19th birthday.

Stats via Elite Prospects

Vinzenz Rohrer

19y, ZSC Lions, NL, Switzerland

Patrik was still busy recording interesting content for the site. European scout and friend of the podcast Thomas Roost was interviewed to give his thoughts on the Swiss National League in general, and Vinzenz Rohrer in particular.

Roost tells us how he was not surprised by Rohrer making the ZSC Lions out of camp. There are many interesting qualities in Rohrer’s game, which make him an intriguing prospect for a future Canadiens team:

“He is not strong enough yet to compete, but nearly everything else is. The hockey IQ, the energy level, and he is not afraid even if he gets knocked down by an opponent.”

During his two games this week, Rohrer played as a winger on the third line, next to former Anaheim Duck Derek Grant and former Canadien Sven Andrighetto.

Rohrer currently has three goals and an apple while having been dressed for all but one game so far this season. His average ice time during his first 14 games has been 12:24.

Oliver Kapanen

20y, KalPa, Liiga, Finland

Kapanen has finally started to get some results in the scoring column. After starting the season off slowly, the KalPa centreman now has five points (2G, 3A) in his last five games. What is even better for the Canadiens to see is that three of those points have come on the power play. If there is anything the Canadiens want to add more of in their organization, it is players who can add creative spark to that slumbering man advantage.

His most recent game was be one to forget, as KalPa got thrashed 7-2 against Vaasan Sport. Kapanen ended that game with an embarrassing -4 during his 11:46 minutes of ice time. After 14 games, Kalevan Pallo (KalPa) are currently 12th in the 15-team table, just ahead of the Sports from Vaasa.

Adam Engström

19y, Rögle BK, SHL, Sweden

Two games this week for Engström, which both unfortunately ended in losses. The second game was a wild one, as Rögle went from having a three-goal lead after period one, to concede six straight goals and lose 6-3 against Skellefteå.

Engström averaged just over 20 minutes per game, with four shots on goal and a plus-minus of negative three. He had a major mistake on Skellefteå’s go-ahead goal, which can be seen in the gifs below.

Rögle have lost three of their last five games, something which has seen them plummet down to 11th in the 14-team league. Getting their power play going would help them gain a bit of momentum, as their man advantage currently looks even worse than what we are used to seeing in Montreal.

Despite these occasional mishaps, Engström continues to feature as a first-pairing defenceman for Rögle.

Filip Eriksson

18y, Växjö Lakers, SHL, Sweden

For Eriksson, just being healthy and playing SHL minutes for the reigning Swedish champions is a win in itself. Växjö won both of its games this week, but with both being low-scoring affairs, there was little opportunity for Eriksson to shine.

He continues to feature on the fourth line for Växjö, as he chases enough minutes to become an integral part of the Swedish roster for the World Junior Championship.

Bogdan Konyushkov

20y, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL, Russia

Konyushkov continues to be one of the pillars for Nizhny Novgorod this season. Two additional assists this week means that he’s already reached double digits in that column.

Three games this week resulted in one win and two losses, with one of those losses coming after a shootout. Torpedo are currently third in the Western Conference, trailing leaders Spartak Moscow by four points.

When I say Konyushkov is one of the pillars of the team, I am not lying. He was second on his team in ice time in each of the three games, compiling 20-plus minutes on every occasion, with a whopping 24:03 in that shootout loss against Novosibirsk.

Petteri Nurmi

21y, HPK, Liiga, Finland

Two games this week equalled two losses for Petteri Nurmi. In his first game, he faced the wrath of fellow Habs prospect Oliver Kapanen, with Kapanen recording two points (1G, 1A). In the second game, young Petteri faced the wrath of former Laval Rocket player Nate Schnarr, who scored twice for his Pelicans in their 3-1 win against Nurmi’s Hämeenlinnan Pallokerho (yes, that is HPK’s full name).

Nurmi plays good minutes for HPK every week without being a standout performer, neither in a good nor bad way. Then again, he is universally seen as a steady stay-at-home defenceman, so not standing out may not necessarily have to be a bad thing.

As Patrik has previously written, there is a logjam in the Canadiens’ defensive prospect cupboard,. With the Canadiens having to make a decision on a potential entry-level contract for Nurmi at the end of this season, things are looking bleak for the young Finnish defenceman.

I can absolutely see a future in the AHL for Nurmi, but with several other defensive prospects being both younger and having higher upside, he may be better off searching elsewhere around the league for that opportunity.

Yevgeni Volokhin

18y, Mamonty Yugry, MHL, Russia

Only the single game this week for the Mamonty Yugry goaltender. Facing Loko-76, he stopped 27 out of 28 shots on net. This resulted in a 96.4% outing which helped lead his team to a 5-1 victory.

It is difficult to know which level the opposition actually plays at nowadays in the Russian Junior league, but Volokhin’s start to the season certainly does not disappoint. Only one team in the MHL has conceded fewer goals than Mamonty Yugry, and that team has currently played three games fewer than Volokhin’s side.

He has continued to build on his impressive rookie season, and looks destined for bigger stages.

Alexander Gordin

22y, Ryazan-VDV, VHL, Russia

After only recording 12 points in 36 games of VHL play last year, Alexander Gordin now has sprung back to life in a new environment. Only one game this week for The Refrigerator from Saint Petersburg, but he certainly made the most of it by assisting his linemate Filipp Toluzakov to the overtime winner.

Gordin plays second-line minutes in the Russian second tier, while averaging just over 16 minutes of ice time per game. Ryazan-VDV currently parks fifth last in the 29-team league.

Dmitri Kostenko

21y, Khimik Voskresensk, VHL, Russia

Three games for Kostenko since the last update, as he continues to paddle around in the Russian second tier. A narrow 2-3-by penalties was followed by two resounding wins, with a combined goal differential of 11-0. Kostenko was one of the players missing his penalty shot in the defeat, but made up for it with an assist in the subsequent outing.

During the latter two games, Kostenko played on the second pairing, next to 6’8″ man mountain (and former Owen Sound Attack player) Igor Chibrikov. Khimik are currently third in the VHL table.