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LATEST | Canucks' top prospect Tom Willander lays massive open-ice hit at the World Juniors

Published December 26, 2023 at 5:34 PM
BY FELIP GOSSELIN
     
Not everybody felt that Tom Willander was the best player available when the Canucks took the Swede with the 10th overall pick. While only time will tell whether or not he was the proper selection, he for sure is precisely what the Canucks' need and highlights from his performance in Sweden's opening game at the World Juniors once again prove it.

WILLANDER: CUSTOM BUILT FOR THE CANUCKS?

Described an excellent two-way puck mover with outstanding hockey IQ, Willander has been taking his physicality up a notch and precisely fits what the Canucks need. If he lives up to his potential, Willander could be the number two Defenseman they've desperately needed to play alongside Quinn Hughes.

In his first outing at the World Juniors, Willander showed the full extent of his two-way attributes and delivered a massive open-ice hit that took every fan by surprise:



Willander has already taken the next steps in his progression as he's lined up with the Boston University Terriers since the season started. Still getting acclimated to the North American Rinks, the right-handed shot defenceman collected 8 points through his first 15 collegiate games. His offensive input is only expected to increase after the World Junior.

If all goes well, Willander could jump to professional hockey at the end of this season. The tendency suggests, however, that players picked from the 5th to the 20th rank usually tend to go back for a 2nd year.
POLL
December 26   |   661 answers
LATEST | Canucks' top prospect Tom Willander lays massive open-ice hit at the World Juniors

Should Willander make the jump to professional hockey at the end of the year?

Yes27641.8 %
No15323.1 %
Let dominate the NCAA next year23235.1 %
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