At 15th overall, the Vancouver Canucks have drafted Swedish sniper Jonathan Lekkerimäki.
The 17-year-old was notably falling through the first half of the draft. Elite Prospects’ Consolidated Ranking had him at 9th overall, and he was a top-10 pick in many outlets.
Both Lekkerimäki and Finnish sniper Joakim Kemell had fallen from their top-10 rankings when the Canucks stepped up to the podium at 15th overall.
After selecting Lekkerimäki, Patrik Allvin told Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet 650 that the Canucks had their new top prospect ranked higher than 15th.
“We’re excited that he’d fallen down,” Allvin said.
“Like a lot of players here, they need to get stronger, but he’s extremely skilled. We’ll take our time here and work with him.”
Here’s a peek at what Lekkerimäki will bring to the Canucks, courtesy of our former staff writer, Daniel Gee.
The #Canucks have selected Jonathan Lekkerimäki with the 15th overall pick. NHL-quality right shot, finds lanes to unleash. Really great catch-and-release ability. Hands are unreal too. I literally made this video today just in case. The team got their man.— Daniel Gee (@DanielGScouting) July 8, 2022
You can also check out this draft profile of Lekkerimäki from our SB Nation NHL brethren over at Habs Eyes on the Prize. Like many reports, they comment on Lekkerimäki’s one-of-a-kind shot despite current deficiencies in other areas of his game.
However, there’s one interesting section that should stand out to Canucks fans.
“There have been comments in media and by hockey fans that he could be a similar find to Elias Pettersson who shared a lot of the same characteristics in his draft year, but what separates the two Swedish players is their overall hockey IQ. Pettersson was much better in all parts of the ice than Lekkerimäki is at the moment. This should mean that the team that drafts him won’t try and turn Lekkerimäki into a centre even if the puck control and shot are there.”
Well, you can safely bet that the Canucks won’t try to turn the right-shot, right winger into a centre.
In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Lekkerimäki line up alongside Elias Pettersson in a couple of years.