Welcome to the 2022 Edition of the Vancouver Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings. The list includes all players in the Canucks system who were born after April 15th, 1998.
What a roller coaster of a season 2021-22 was for young Lucas Forsell.
The 18-year-old, who was only 10 days away from being eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, began the season on one of the worst J20 teams in Sweden.
After carrying his porous squad back to respectability, Forsell earned a recall to Sweden’s top hockey league, the SHL.
Although he was listed as the 13th forward, a midseason coaching change gave Forsell another opportunity to prove himself.
“We had a coaching change and the new coach put a lot of trust in me,” Forsell told Canucks Army back in May. “I got a chance to play on the power play and get top-line minutes as well. Now, with the new coach, I can fight my way into the roster. Older players are much more trusted but I will do everything that I have to earn the new coach’s trust.”
As one of the youngest players in the SHL, Forsell finished with four goals and six points in 30 games.
Three of those goals came in consecutive games.
Despite playing limited minutes, Forsell made the most of his ice time, finishing fourth on his SHL team with a 52.6% Corsi-For.
When he went back down to the J20 circuit later in the season, Forsell proved he was above his peers with an immediate hat-trick.
Dropping down to the J20 circuit for the day, Lucas Forsell notched three goals.— Dave Hall (@hall1289) March 18, 2022
He's now firing at a 0.97 clip in the J20 with 15 goals and 18 assists. The value continues to be terrific. #Canuckspic.twitter.com/yL3Ml1RosP
Just one year after he was drafted by the Canucks, Forsell is already showing that he is more valuable than your average seventh-round pick.
Based on his age and scoring profile, there’s some sneaky middle-six potential here for Forsell if he continues to develop.
What’s Next for Forsell
As of writing, Forsell is one of two Swedish Canucks’ prospects to participate in the U20 Four Nations Tournament in Europe.
Elias Pettersson 2.0 was the other Swede named to the team, in a tournament that includes Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The tournament is often a precursor for players who could be available for the World Juniors in December.
After the three-game tournament concludes, Forsell will jump into his first full SHL season with Färjestad. He’s under contract with the club for the next two seasons.
“My goal is to be a productive SHLer next year,” Forsell said to Canucks Army. “I know I’m probably not going to be a point-per-game player but maybe 15 points and get more ice time. I want to play big minutes every game and not be the 13th forward anymore — I want to be more than that next season. It’s all about preparing myself. I want to work very hard this summer and show the new coach why I should be on that roster every game by the time the puck drops next season.”