Canucks of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Vancouver Canucks system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them if and when they advance through the Vancouver organization. Today, we feature Jonathan Myrenberg.
Position: Right shot Defenceman
How Acquired: 2021 NHL Draft, 5th-round, 140th-overall
2021-22 Stats: (GP-W-L-OTL) 15-0-0-0, 2 PIM (with Linkopings HC, in SHL, top Swedish pro league), 35-8-23-31, 28 PIM (with Linkoping Juniors)
Contract Status: Unsigned, on Vancouver Canucks reserve list. The club has until June 1, 2025 to sign him.
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: Mora IK in HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden’s 2nd-tier pro league.
The Vancouver Canucks would love immediate help on the right side of the D-corps but Jonathan Myrenberg is a long-term projection. The team’s 5th-round pick last summer will continue to develop in his native Sweden and there is no rush to sign him. The Canucks hold his rights until the summer of 2025.
It seemed appropriate to take a closer look since VHN mentioned him earlier Thursday in a story about his potential participation in the 2023 World Junior Championship coming up in December.
Myrenberg is a lanky 6-foot-2, 195-pound, puck moving defenceman who will continue to fill out his frame. He’s been productive offensively at the Swedish junior level. Next season in HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden’s 2nd-highest pro league, he’ll get more ice time and special teams opportunities. It’s a popular spot for NHL clubs to put burgeoning prospects.
“It’s a competitive league, definitely,” said Swede Mikael Samuelsson, a Vancouver Canucks player development coach who just happens to be a World Champion, Olympic champion, and Stanley Cup winner. “Guys can skate and do a lot of good things there. The most important thing that they can get is ice time, and I know you’ve heard it before, but that’s really true.”
Canucks 2022 1st-round draft pick Jonathan Lekkerimaki is an example of another prospect who will be playing in the same league.
Samuelsson told the media he spoke to Myrenberg at Canucks Development Camp about playing 2nd-tier Swedish pro hockey next season after getting a taste of the top Swedish Hockey League.
“He doesn’t see it as a drop down,” Samuelsson said. “He looks at it as, he gets ice time, and what he gets out of that ice time is up to him. What do you have to be in the SHL for if you don’t play. You maybe get a couple more dollars in the your pocket, but he shouldn’t even think about that now, he should think about his career in a three to four year span maybe, and he’s gotta become the best he can be. That’s gotta be his focus.”
Pre-2021 NHL Draft scouting reports gave Myrenberg a thumbs up on his willingness to battle and his hockey sense. They also were impressed with the fluidity of his forward skating and his edge work. Backward skating, cutting off wingers, needed work. His break out passes are calm and effective.
Thus far he’s been a better penalty killer in his career than a power play man. Ultimately what he needs is time and experience. He showed well at the Canucks camp.
“He always keeps his head up, he’s see’s the ice very good,” Samuelsson said. “His work ethic, I don’t know, I haven’t seen him enough, I haven’t been around him, but I like his game, he needs to work on some things.”
It’s early. Bottom line, Myrenberg presently possesses the ability to skate and make the first pass, the first two considerations when scouting a defenceman.
The backward and lateral can be worked on. This is a “check back in a year and we’ll see where he’s at” situation. The Vancouver Canucks will be closely monitoring his development and patient with this righty D-man.