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 Nils Åman.
Position: Left-shot forward
How Acquired: Free agent signee, June 7, 2022
2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-PTS) 51-6-8-14, 8 PIM (Leksands, Swedish Hockey League)
Contract Status: Two seasons remaining on a two-year, two-way, entry-level contract.
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: Abbotsford Canucks
Nils Åman has spent the last two-plus hockey seasons playing in Sweden’s top league (SHL) in Leksand, which just happens to be Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin’s hometown. Yes, “Patrik’s Pipeline” included Åman joining the fray during a flurry of Swedish signings around early June. Åman, an unsigned former 6th-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche, signed just 12 days after Allvin inked righty centre Linus Karlsson and six days before signing right-shot defenceman Filip Johansson.
Åman has been described as a hard working, two-way centre. He’s also recently spent time playing the wing. He hasn’t piled up points in Sweden’s top league like he did in juniors, but then again he’s still learning the tricks of the trade at age-22.
Dave Hall at Dobber Prospects says the Vancouver Canucks now have “more of a depth piece, and while there is hope that he taps into some of his past offensive ways, a bottom-six upside is likely the cap.”
The Canucks are obviously crowded on the left side, whether it’s lefty centres or on the wing.
He’d make about $900,000 including bonuses at the NHL level and earns $70,000 while in the AHL.
The phenomenon of scorers in junior becoming role players in the professional ranks is not limited to North America.
There’s almost a sense that the Vancouver Canucks were doing someone a favour here. Although Åman has decent size at 6-2, 180 pounds and skates pretty well, it’s hard to imagine him making an impact other than on the depth chart in Abbotsford. That’s where he’ll end up if he cuts the mustard at training camp.
Two less cynical positives: he’s only 22 so who knows, and a club can rarely have enough depth.