Nils Höglander is making a name for himself.
The Canucks 40th overall selection in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft wowed the hockey world with a spectacular lacrosse-style goal in the SHL yesterday. Höglander deked out a defenseman behind the net before putting the puck on his stick blade and pulling off the “Michigan” move made famous by Mike Legg in 1996.
— C More Sport (@cmoresport) October 29, 2019
This isn’t the first time Hoglander has scored a lacrosse-style goal. The 18-year-old Swede pulled off the move with Rögle last season to earn “SHL Goal of the Year” honours.
While his goal last season was impressive, his goal on Tuesday is even more spectacular. Höglander had to first outbattle defenseman Marcus Högström behind the net to win the puck battle before making a move to escape the check. With Högström pressuring him, Hoglander is able to lift the puck up onto his stick, control it in the air and tuck it under the bar at a very high rate of speed.
Hoglander discussed the goal with Rick Dhaliwal and TSN 1040 on Wednesday.
“I tried it last year as well, it felt good. It is not so hard, you need good ice and fresh tape on your stick,” Höglander said.
Höglander explained how he tries the move the practice and just tries to have fun with it. He’s been working on it since a young age, so that definitely helps.
Höglander set social media ablaze with the move, but he noted that things like Twitter aren’t as big in Sweden as they are in Vancouver.
“Twitter is big in Vancouver, not as big here. I see the Canucks retweeted it.”
Höglander also saw the goal by Carolina Hurricanes’ forward Andrei Svenchkikov later that same night. Svechnikov become the first player in NHL history to pull off the “Michigan” when he scored with a lacrosse-style move against the Calgary Flames.
Andrei Svechnikov just scored the lacrosse goal pic.twitter.com/wOJSxhRsMW
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) October 30, 2019
“I see Svechnikov did it”, Höglander said. “At NHL level It’s tough but of course I will try.”
According to Patrick Johnson of the Province, Canucks’ Swedish forward Elias Pettersson had no comment when he was asked about the recent “lacrosse” goals score by Höglander and Svechnikov. Pettersson appeared to try the same move against the Florida Panthers on Monday but the puck fell off his stick.
Brock Boeser had a funny comment when asked about Pettersson’s reluctance to talk about it.
“I think Petey’s going to try and top it,” Boeser said. “Petey’s pissed probably.”
Höglander is appearing on the highlight-reels, but he’s also putting together a solid season with Rogle in the SHL. He already played 50 games with the club last season and has put up three goals and four points in his first 10 contests this season. Höglander previously stated that it’s his goal to make the Canucks by age 20.
Despite only being listed at 5’9″, Höglander is 190 lbs and has been earning praise for his physical games. He’s a dynamic winger who clearly has elite puck-level skills. There were lots of talk at the draft in Vancouver that the Canucks hit the jackpot when they got Höglander in the early second round. Everything he’s shown since then indicates the scouts may have been right.
With the rate Höglander is producing highlight-reel goals at, Canucks fans may not have to wait very long to see another one. Höglander is expected to play a key role for Team Sweden at the 2020 World Juniors, beginning Boxing Day in the Czech Republic.