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European Canadiens Prospect Report: The post-season fates of the players

Credit: TV4

Filip Eriksson

19y, Växjö Lakers, SHL / Nybro Vikings, HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden

Eriksson finishes the regular season in HockeyAllsvenskan second in scoring, by a point, behind Västerås’s Hannes Hellberg, but with 28 fewer games played. Draft-eligible Michael Brandsegg-Nygård ended up third, six points back from Eriksson with 20 more games to his name.

Nybro ended up in the play-in series against Almtuna, and Eriksson assisted on Nybrås first goal of the series.

Nybro won the opening game of the series 6-3 and will now have two games to close out the series, the second game of the best-of-three will be Wednesday evening (CET), and if a third game is needed will be on Thursday evening.

If Nybro qualifies for the quarter-finals, it will face one of the top two teams: Brynäs which is the favourite to go up and a team Nybro has struggled with during the season, or; Södertälje a classic team but a team that Nybro would have a chance to cause an upset against.

Bogdan Konyushkov

21y, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL, Russia

The season is over for Konyushkov as Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod crashed out to SKA Saint Petersburg four games to one. Torpedo had the chance for an upset as they won the first game and lost the second in double overtime but that’s as far as it went. SKA took the next three games cleanly, 5-2, 4-1 and 3-0. The results once more showed that the bigger teams gear up for the playoffs. Even though SKA’s season started slowly they were more than ready for the main event.

Konyushkov played around 23:30 a game, with the exception of the double overtime where he played over 37 minutes. The stats are a bit skewed due to playoff tactics and empty-net situations, so Konyushkov’s -3 should be taken with a grain of salt. What stood out in the playoffs was that SKA played a more complete game, not as open as during the season, and it hampered Konyuskov’s offensive output and especially his power-play production.

Otherwise it was the same thing as pointed out during the season: sometimes he needs to recover from the bad position he has put himself in, and because he needs to over work and play catch up due to his inferior skating, that leads to more opportunities for the opposing team.

Vinzenz Rohrer

19y, ZSC Lions, NL, Switzerland

Ambri-Piotta won their play-in series and will face Zürich, who won the league in the quarter-finals. Rohrer has had a great season with 19 points (7G, 12A) in 49 games. He has geared up for the playoffs, and the question is what Montreal Canadiens fans can expect from him in the post-season. He has been taken off the second power-play unit as players have returned from injuries and his ice time has fallen a bit. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he carves out a role that gives him more time and chances to shine in the playoffs.

Regardless of the role Rohrer gets with Zürich, this is the best chance to see a European Canadiens prospect lift a trophy at the end of the season.

David Reinbacher

19y, EHC Kloten, NL, Switzerland

The relegation/play-out series starts on March 16 and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes at least to six games.

Oliver Kapanen

20y, KalPa, Liiga, Finland

The regular season in Finland finished Tuesday night and KalPa finished in seventh place and will face Sport in the play-in series. Ässat failed to qualify even if they had a better chance than Sport to reach the play-in series when the last round started. KalPa will go into this series as favourites, with the games beginning on Friday.

Kapanen has been hot and cold all through the season, ending with 34 points (14G, 20A) in 51 games, a slight increase from last year’s 27 points in four more games played.

Adam Engström

20y, Rögle BK, SHL, Sweden

Modo and Rögle needed to split the points and Modo to win in overtime in the last game of the regular season for both clubs to be included in the playoffs. It only looked like one team tried to win the game from the outset, and that team was Rögle. In the end, Modo couldn’t win in overtime, and since Linköping – Örebro went to penalties, Modo fell out of the playoffs in the last action of the season in a game they weren’t even involved in as Örebro went trough thanks to the shootout win. Rögle will face Timrå, in a three-game series for the quarter-final spot, a series that I think will be close but in which Rögle has a big chance to go through.

Engström has improved from 16 points (6G, 10A) in 43 games to 22 (4G, 18A) in 51 games. He had an assist on the game-winning goal in the last play of the regular season. The offence is still impressive considering the role he had on the team. Not having a set power-play position this season impacted his offensive play as well. However, his defensive game has improved, even if he has played the most of the season with Viljanen rotating to his off-side. After having been paired with former Canadien Brandon Davidson, Engström has played most of the time on his off-side. This has led to his defensive game taking a huge step forward, something that will be important for his future career.

Yevgeni Volokhin

18y, Mamonty Yugry, MHL, Russia

The Mammoth won their first series 3-1, and Volokhin was a big reason for that as he posted a 0.61 goals-against average and .975 save percentage in the two games he played.

Petteri Nurmi

21y, HPK, Liiga, Finland

HPK is out of the playoffs, having finished second from the bottom in the table. Nurmi’s season was a good one, especially considering HPK’s quality. He was sixth in team scoring and his -15 should be considered with regard to the fact that HPK finished with a -71 goal differential.

I can’t see Montreal signing Nurmi, especially considering the defensive logjam that exists in the system. I can see him having a long and good European career. It would have been interesting to see him move to a better team at the deadline, but HPK chose to keep him. I don’t think it would have changed my perspective on Nurmi as a good defender with good hockey IQ and setup passes, but it could have added another layer to the evaluation.

Dmitri Kostenko

21y, VHL, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

Kostenko seems to be more set in Yugra’s system, and they are still in the playoffs.

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