Vancouver Canucks top prospects of week 25: Dahlen, Pettersson, Jasek

MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 31: Lukas Jasek
MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 31: Lukas Jasek /
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No. 1 – LW Jonathan Dahlén (Timrå IK, SHL)

Did you notice something different? For the first time this season, I have designated Timrå in the SHL. You know what that means. Jonathan Dahlén led his favourite team growing up back to the SHL! Down 3-1 in the promotion series, Timrå rallied back to win three consecutive times and move up from the Allsvenskan.

Dahlén’s team has not been in the SHL since 2013. The talented winger had 14 points in the playoffs, leading his team. 18 years ago, a certain player did the same thing. This special person was like Dahlén. He also played in Timrå and was instrumental in promoting the team to the SHL (called the Swedish Elite League back then).

That player also led Timrå with 14 points and like Dahlén, led the team in points during every year they were there. Henrik Zetterberg is that player. He was Dahlén’s favourite when he was little. Zetterberg is still remembered as a hero to this day for promoting Timrå to the big league. Do you believe in destiny? Dahlén will likely be remembered for doing the same.

Zetterberg did spend two more years with Timrå in the SHL before making the jump to North America. Judging by how the Canucks are “accelerating the rebuild,” I would think the sooner they get Dahlén here, the better.

Instead of his goals this week, I would prefer to show you this instead. This is five-year-old Jonathan Dahlén doing his best Henrik Zetterberg impression. It really doesn’t get better than this.

The impact and future

Does this mean Jonathan Dahlén will follow the same path as Zetterberg? Probably not. He can play centre, but does his best work on the wing (just like Elias Pettersson). Dahlén has also spent most of the last two years on the wing (also like Pettersson).  Speaking of Pettersson, this was the reaction from Dahlén’s friend and former teammate.

What is truly special is that this young man became the person he idolized. And maybe, just maybe, he carves out his own niche in the NHL where one day, kids in Sweden will strive to be just like him.

I told you how important this was to Swedish hockey players. And if this is Dahlén’s final season in Sweden, then he left one hell of a parting gift with his team. It’s a tremendous accomplishment and I respect how the loyalty has ultimately paid off. Jim Benning and Trevor Linden may grossly overvalue character, but I can appreciate this level of devotion.

He is committed to winning and I will be very interested to see what comes next. I know the Canucks would like him to join the Utica Comets as soon as possible for the end of the season and playoffs. If he can stay healthy this time around during training camp, I do wonder if he makes a difficult decision for Travis Green.

Next: Looking back on our favourite Sedin moments

Personally, I think he could use some time in the AHL, adjusting his play to North American ice. The same can be said for Pettersson, but it would not be the first time the Canucks rushed a pair of prospects to the team. Travis Green will be tough to please, as he places an incredible value on fitness, skating and 5v5 play with or without the puck. Perhaps the coaches and management can keep each other in check. Or perhaps that’s giving them too much credit.