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Canucks prospects tracker, WJC edition: Hoglander hits another high on Day 5

December 31st, 2019 by Mike Raptis

It’s the Day 5 edition of the World Juniors tracker, where we tally up the efforts of the Vancouver Canucks’ prospects playing in the tournament:

Nils Hoglander

With each passing WJC game, his stock — as well as his points total — continues to rise.

Sweden clobbered Kazakhstan 6-2 on Monday and Hoglander was heavily involved. Late in the first period, the Canucks’ 2019 second-rounder used his strong stride to swoop in front of the net and find linemate Samuel Fagemo, who made it 1-0 from in tight.

Then in the second period, with Sweden leading 3-0, Hoglander got his third goal of the tournament. The 19-year-old made a nifty play at the opposition’s blue-line to kick a pass to his stick, break into the zone and fire a wrist shot low past the goalie’s glove hand.

TSN hockey analyst Craig Button, covering the tournament in the Czech Republic, told TSN 1040 radio earlier today that Hoglander has been a catalyst for a deep and talented Swedish side.

“Number one, he’s an excellent skater. He uses that skating to create opportunities,” Button said.

“He’s a really competitive player and because of that, he’s going to create chances for himself and for his linemates.”

Button said that Hoglander’s confidence continues to grow, which is surprising considering we’re talking about a player who dips into his bag of tricks on a nightly basis. Already in this tournament, we’ve seen the lacrosse-style goal, several pretty set-ups and enough ankle-breaking moves to conclude that Hoglander is high on his own supply as it is.

Button also thinks that the 5-foot-9, 170 pound Hoglander has the smarts and drive to develop into an Alex Burrows-type of NHL player, one who can provide support to star linemates while also having the ability to fill the net himself.

Hoglander finished Monday’s game with one goal, one assist, three shots on net and an even rating in 11:24 of ice time.

With three goals and three assists in three games, Hoglander is tied for fourth place in WJC scoring with six points. He’s also a plus-four overall. His linemate Fagemo, a Los Angeles Kings 2019 second-rounder, also has six points with five goals and one assist.

Up next for Sweden is a Tuesday tilt against Slovakia.

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