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European Canadiens Prospect Report: The Ketchup Effect kicks in for Oliver Kapanen


Oliver Kapanen

20y, KalPa, Liiga, Finland

The ketchup didn’t just splatter this weekend for Oliver Kapanen, it exploded as he recorded six points in two games. KalPa’s second line with Mäenpää-Kapanen-Kantner has found great chemistry and it was evident in how the three found each other on the ice that they think hockey the same way. While not all the goals and assists stood out, this power-play goal showcases the understanding and chemistry of the line:

Kapanen’s second goal showcased his hand-eye coordination as he got his stick on the puck for a tip-in while battling with the defender in the slot.
Halfway through the season, Kapanen looks set to break his scoring totals from last year despite having a tough start to the season after having served in his country’s military during the summer. His 16 points (7G, 9A) in 27 games projects to 32 in 53 games. If the line continues to work and Kapanen’s confidence continues to rise, he should make it with quite a few games to spare.

David Reinbacher

19y, EHC Kloten, NL, Switzerland

Kloten continues its struggle even after the Christmas break and the coaching change, outscored 16-2 in the three games last week. Reinbacher has a -3 rating over those three games, despite playing an average of 20:20, though some of the goals against were with a player in the box and Rienbacher on the ice. However, it is clear that Kloten is better on defence with Reinbacher on the ice than without him.

A typical Kloten game looks a bit like this: limited time on offence and one-way traffic toward Kloten’s net. With this in mind, Reinbacher is working on his defensive game, and it is getting better. He is using his stick to cut up passing lanes and uses his skating and hockey IQ to get into the right positions. He still needs to grow into his body, much like Juraj Slafkovský, and use that physicality to clear out opponents in front of the net, but Reinbacher is improving his game even if Kloten is losing its battles.

You can read more about Reinbacher in our recent article.

Vinzenz Rohrer

19y, ZSC Lions, NL, Switzerland

There was a small increase in usage last week for Rohrer, who added an assist to his season total. Rohrer’s 11 points (5G, 6A) is really good for a player who went from the OHL to one of Europe’s premier hockey leagues, and the team with the biggest budget in continental Europe.

Adam Engström

20y, Rögle BK, SHL, Sweden

Engström finally scored his first goal since September as he took a pass and released an absolute bomb on Monday night against Timrå.

The North Sweden road trip (three games in five days) resulted in three points for Engström, who is the defensive anchor on his pairing with Michael Kapla. Engström’s offensive output should be considered in that aspect as well as limited power-play opportunities and his wish to improve his overall defensive game. He is on pace for the same points-per-game average as last year.

Rögle seems to have turned a corner after replacing the Abbott brothers as GM (Chris) and coach (Cam). This might change Engström’s offensive numbers, however his underlying numbers looks solid and point to a positive development curve.

Filip Eriksson

18y, Växjö Lakers, SHL, Sweden

After holing down a spot in Växjö during the World Juniors, Eriksson was listed as the 13th forward and didn’t play a second in the game against Skellefteå, the opponent’s in last year SHL Final.

Having participated in all of Växjö’s games in the SHL so far, I will not be surprised if Eriksson will rotate in and out of the line up for a while to have him get some R&R before the playoffs start; remember Eriksson sat out a long stretch of last season due to an injury. Växjö is in a prime position in the standings and looks set to go on a deep playoff run this year, too, and Eriksson looks set to be part of that team.

Petteri Nurmi

21y, HPK, Liiga, Finland

Nurmi averages around 18:30 a game for an HPK team that has worked itself up the Liiga standings, only a point behind the wildcard/play-in games at the moment. He could be an interesting signing for Laval in the AHL, but with Montreal’s logjam on defence, I think this is a player that Montreal can afford to let go.

Bogdan Konyushkov

20y, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL, Russia

Russia hosted a trimmed down version of Chanel One Cup (former Izvestia) right before Christmas and Konyushkov was part of the U25 team that won the tournament against Belarus, Kazakhstan, and a mixed KHL team (no stars).

As the KHL returned to its regular-season schedule, Konyushkov has continued his heavy minutes for Torpedo, scoring one assist in the two games since New Year’s Eve. He is averaging almost 0.5 points per game in over 23 minutes of play, impressive numbers even in a league that has dropped in quality.

Read a more in-depth report on Konyushkov’s play here.

Yevgeni Volokhin

18y, Mamonty Yugry, MHL, Russia

The Russian goalie continues his strong performance in the MHL as he tops the league in both save percentage and goals-against average. This while still ranking eighth in shutouts with three, compared to the league-leading Maxim Solokov with six.


The pipeline of goalies in the Canadiens system is strong, and having Volokhin develop in Russia with no rush to bring him over as rights are retained indefinitely due to a non existent NHL-KHL deal, this might be a goalie to wait on.

Alexander Gordin

22y, Ryazan-VDV, VHL, Russia

Gordin has 27 points (11G, 16A) for the season in the VHL, already more than double that of last year. As a 22-year-old, the improvement should have been in a step up in competition rather than production.

Dmitri Kostenko

21y, VHL, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

The defenceman has found new life after having been traded to Yugra halfway though the season, as he now has seven points (4G, 3A) and a +7 rating since the move, doubling his output and plus/minus in the nine games with Yugra compared to the 20 games in Khimik.

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