Each week, I will be featuring the Vancouver Canucks top three prospects. Here’s a look at who stood out in week 16.
This week’s top Vancouver Canucks’ prospects feature a player who experienced a wild roller coaster ride at the World Junior Championships. Along with another who benefited with a teammate being at the WJC, by experiencing an increased role. As well as a prospect who had a three-point game in his only contest of the week.
1. Nils Hoglander
This past week could not have been more topsy-turvy when it comes to emotions for that of Nils Hoglander.
The Swedes continued their complete dominance in the round-robin portion of this tournament, running their consecutive winning streak to 52 games. Hoglander led the WJC scoring race before the semi-final game with ten points coming from five goals and five assists in five games. Many of the points were timely and very prominent.
Last week, In the first game of the tournament, his goal tied the game 1-1. Equally as significant was his assist on the game-tying goal that forced overtime. Likewise, in the second game for Sweden, Hoglander scored the eventual game-winning goal and added an assist on Sweden’s second goal in a 5-2 victory versus Switzerland.
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This past week in a 6-2 triumph over Kazakstan, Hoglander assisted on the game’s opening goal and later added a goal.
In the final match of the preliminary round, a 6-2 win over Slovakia, he provided a primary assist to close out the game. Following that in the quarter-final match, a 5-0 blanking of the Czech Republic, Hoglander once again would score the opening goal for Sweden. He followed that up by scoring the third goal and later assisted on the final goal of the game.
Despite their preliminary round prowess, Sweden has experienced minimal success when it comes to the medal round and thus was the case again this time. Early in the semi-final game versus Russia, Hoglander would receive a major penalty and game misconduct for a hit to the head of an opponent.
Russia took the lead on the subsequent man advantage, and although Sweden did come back and force the game to overtime, they undoubtedly missed the services of Hoglander. They eventually lost the game in overtime and their berth in the gold-medal game.
In the bronze-medal contest against their bitter rival Finland, Hoglander’s turnover directly led to a Finnish goal. Sweden trailed 2-1 at the end of the first period. However, he made amends in the middle frame with a primary assist on the game-tying goal. Ultimately, Sweden prevailed with a 3-2 victory and the bronze medal.
2. Jett Woo
With Calgary Hitmen teammate Egor Zamula participating at the WJC tournament, Jett Woo has benefited from increased ice-time and first-unit powerplay duty. In his first game this past week, Woo assisted on the game-winning goal and then scored the insurance goal in a 5-3 victory over their divisional rival, the Edmonton Oil Kings. Both of those goals came with the man advantage.
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On New Year’s Day, which resulted in a 4-2 decision over the Medicine Hat Tigers, Woo once again assisted on the power play game-winning goal. The Tigers would take the rematch two nights later by a 5-2 count. However, Woo once again added a power play assist.
In the final contest of the week, a 2-1 overtime triumph versus the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Woo provided the secondary assist on the game-winning goal.
3. Linus Karlsson
Swedish forward Linus Karlsson came to the Canucks’ organization in a deal for disgruntled forward Jonathan Dahlen. He is currently playing in the Swedish Allsvenskan, a second division men’s league, with Karlskrona. Generally, he isn’t known for his scoring abilities, although this past week, he had a three-point game.
In a contest versus Kristianstads, Karlsson set up the game-winning goal. He followed that with a power play marker before he added a second primary assist minutes later. Karlskrona prevailed with a 5-1 thumping of their division rival.
Vasili Podkolzin had two assists in Russia’s 5-4 semi-final victory over Sweden.
Be sure to come back next time to see which of the incredible prospects earn the distinction of Canucks’ prospects of the week.