With the Chicago Blackhawks, not playing again until Thursday, we continue our tour through the team’s prospect pipeline by checking in on the players in Europe.
Antti Saarela, Lukko (Liiga)
Stats: 5 points (3 G, 2 A) in 15 games played
Saarela missed about a month, returning to the lineup for Lukko back on Nov. 16. In the four games he’s played since returning to action, he hasn’t added to his point total but could start finding the score sheet again soon now that he has his game legs back under him.
Riku Tohila, JYP U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
Stats: 19 points (15 G, 4 A) in 25 games played
Since our last European prospect update on Nov. 8, Tohila has scored three goals in his last four games. This hot stretch gives him a total of 15 goals this season in only 25 games. This is encouraging, as Tohila is still only 18 years of age.
Ilya Safonov, Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)
Stats: 16 points (11 G, 5 A) in 32 games played
After a very productive seven game stretch, Safonov has come back down to earth a bit. He’s still been productive, scoring twice and adding two assists in his last eight games. The KHL competition can be quite challenging, so it’s good to see Safonov continuing to be a factor for Ak Bars Kazan.
Victor Stjernborg, Växjö Lakers HC (SHL)
Stats: 3 points (0 G, 3 A) in 22 games played
In his last four games with Växjö, Stjernborg has not made a whole lot of noise. However, he did tally two assists in four games with Sweden’s U20 International Junior team. While not known to be a scoring machine by any means, we’ll be keeping an eye on the young forward to see if he picks up the pace moving forward.
Michael Krutil, HC Sparta Praha (Czechia) / HC Banik Sokolov (Czechia 2)
Stats: 0 points in 10 games played
Between both his Czechia and Czechia 2 stints, Krutil has yet to score any points in 12 games. He previously had taken some reps in Rockford but it’s hard to tell if his game is not translating well or he is just going through a rough patch.