The hockey calendar is in full swing across the Northern Hemisphere and the group of Habs prospects in Europe — Magnus Nygren, Martin Reway, Lukas Vejdemo, Joonas Nattinen and Artturi Lehkonen — are already well underway writing their stories for the 2015-16 season.
Of the group, the most interesting case is Martin Reway. Though Reway was leading the entire Czech league in scoring earlier this month – he had 15 points in 14 games – he was demoted to Sparta Praha’s second division squad.
According to Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News, Sparta wanted to sign Reway to a contract extension, but he wasn’t agreeable. That eventually “led to a rift, which led to a trade request”. As things stand, there are rumors that he may head for the KHL. In the meantime, he at least saw some playing time with Team Slovakia at the annual Deutschland Cup.
Let’s look at some of the Habs other names across the pond.
We spoke last month of how Nygren’s return to home soil had proven beneficial. And, as a second month of play have past, those benefits do not seem to have subsided. With 11 points in 16 games, Nygren is providing strong performance from Farjestad’s backend.
Lukas Vejdemo was an offensive force in Sweden’s junior circuit last year, with 48 points in 34 games. For all his potential, this sadly has yet to translate at the senior level, with only 3 points in 15 SHL games.
The Champions Hockey League (CHL) has also moved to its round of 16. Games here are played in two-game, aggregate goal series.
Vejdemo and his Djugardens teammates lost their initial game against Finland’s Lukko Rauma, 2 to 1, and are now looking ahead to their final match up next week.
Without a doubt, Nattinen’s move back to his native Finland has been a wise one. He is performing at a much higher level offensively than last year, with 6 points in 11 Finnish League games and 4 points in 5 CHL games. He is also receiving quality ice time, averaging just over 16 minutes per game. However, an injury has set him back though he is expected to return shortly.
Held to only one point in his first four games through the end of last month, Lehkonen has truly blossomed since our last report, scoring 10 points in 12 SHL games to along with his 6 points in 4 CHL games.
Frolunda lost their first CHL round of 16 match 2-1 against HC Litvinov but defeated them in the rubber match earlier this week to move on to the quarter finals.