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Red Wings Draft Prospectus: Could Jonathan Lekkerimaki Be Detroit’s Pick at No. 8?

Who might the Detroit Red Wings select with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2022 NHL entry draft? If here’s still on the board, Jonathan Lekkerimaki would fit nicely



Jonathan Lekkerimaki, 2022 NHL draft prospect

The first round of the NHL entry draft is to take place on Thursday, July 7 in Montreal. At 8th overall, the Detroit Red Wings will be making their first-round selection. Based on talking to scouts, GMs and other hockey people, as well as studying the mock drafts of top NHL draft experts, Detroit Hockey Now is looking at players who could potentially be Detroit’s selection. Today, we look at Djurgardens right wing Jonathan Lekkerimaki. 

Jonathan Lekkerimaki

Kyle Woodlief of Red Line Report describes Jonathan Lekkerimaki as the most dynamic pure offensive talent available in the 2022 NHL entry draft.

The World Under-18 championship is perhaps the best litmus test for the draft, because it brings all of the hockey world’s best draft-eligible talents together to compete against each other in a showcase event. It’s the most important tournament for assessing these players. And this year, Lekkerimaki’s performance was off the charts.

He led Sweden to the gold medal, collecting 15 points in six games. That’s a Peter Forsberg level of dominance.

Or if you’d prefer a Red Wings parallel, Hockey Now draft expert Marco D’Amico also sees one of those.

“He was the best player at the Under 18 tournament in May, leading the tournament in scoring,” D’Amico said of Lekkerimaki. “He blew away Sweden-based scouts. (Lekkerimaki) was such an impactful player at age 18, in a similar fashion to how Lucas Raymond was at the same age.”

His game has been compared to that of Tampa Bay sensation Brayden Point and Winnipeg goal-scoring behemoth Kyle Connor.

Why The Red Wings Might Select Lekkerimaki

The Wings could use more goals in their lineup and that just happens to be Lekkerimaki’s specialty. He scored 20 goals for Djurgardens in the Swedish U20 League and added another seven tallies with the club in SHL competition.

“He’s super dangerous off the rush,” Woodlief said. “Defenders back off right into their goalie’s lap to avoid being made to look foolish by his ridiculous stickhandling.”

Lekkerimaki is a deadly finisher and powerful skater with spectacular edge work. Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman likes players who think the game. Lekkerimaki scores high marks in both on-ice vision and hockey sense.

Why The Red Wings Won’t Take Lekkerimaki

Quite simply, because they won’t get the chance. Many NHL mock drafts are projecting Lekkerimaki to be off the draft board by the time the Red Wings step to the podium.

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Woodlief rates Lekkerimaki at fourth overall. However on his Craig’s List, TSN director of scouting Craig Button is slotting Lekkerimaki in at ninth overall. His TSN compatriot and NHL draft guru Bob McKenzie rates Lekkerimaki at eighth overall, right when Detroit picks.

So what we’re saying is there’s a chance Detroit could get Lekkerimaki.

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