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LATEST | NHL.com ranks the top-five Vancouver Canucks prospects


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Cooper Godin
August 29, 2023  (4:35 PM)
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Throughout the month of August, NHL.com has highlighted one team per day as part of their 32-in-32 series they do every year.

In their 32-in-32 series, NHL.com shares their top-five prospects in each team's organization and on Tuesday, it was time to showcase the Vancouver Canucks.
1) Tom Willander (D)
First on the NHL.com's list is 2023 first-round pick Tom Willander, who's heading to Boston University in the NCAA this Fall. NHL.com believes that Willander will make his arrival in the NHL in the 2025-26 season.
"The talent and passion are apparent," Canucks player development coach Mike Komisarek said about Willander. "The character as well.

2) Aatu Raty (C)
Aatu Raty comes in second on their list. The 20-year-old Finn was acquired by the Canucks from the New York Islanders in the Bo Horvat trade earlier this year. They predict that he'll become an NHLer in time for the 2024-25 season.
"His skating is something he knows he has to work on," Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said about Raty. "Obviously, there's a hockey IQ there. Now it's translating that to his core strength and his speed."

3) Jonathan Lekkerimaki (RW)
In third on their list is 19-year-old Jonathan Lekkerimaki, who was the Canucks' first-round pick in 2022. Lekkerimaki suffered an injury earlier this year and bounced back very well and became a point-per-game player during their playoff run. NHL.com projects Lekkerimaki's arrival in the league to be in the 2025-26 season.
"He's still young and he has a ton of things to learn but he took steps last year that were great to see, especially the second half," player development coach Mikael Samuelsson said.

4) Elias Pettersson (D)
The fourth player on the NHL.com list is defensive prospect Elias Pettersson, who the Canucks selected 80th overall in 2022. He played a limited role last season in the SHL last season, but will get a bigger role for his club team in Sweden and at the World Juniors. His projected NHL arrival is the 2024-25 season, which is a bit shocking, because he'll definitely need some time in the American Hockey League to adjust.
5) Arturs Silovs (G)
The fifth and final name on NHL.com's list is Latvian goaltender Arturs Silovs, who was named MVP at the 2023 IIHF World Championship back in May. Silovs saw game time in the NHL last season, making five appearances, but really stood out in the AHL, recording 26 wins, a 2.44 G.A.A. and a .909 save percentage. They believe Silovs will become an NHLer this season as a backup to Thatcher Demko.
This release hold great news for the Canucks scouting team since it clearly shows the improvement they've had over the past few years. It's also excellent news to see that they've improved their ability to develop later draft picks into top-end prospect (ie: Arturs Silovs/ D-Pettey)
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AUGUST 29   |   714 ANSWERS
LATEST | NHL.com ranks the top-five Vancouver Canucks prospects

Do you think Tom Willander will become a top-pairing defenceman?

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