Photo Credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
By Scott Rosenhek
The day has finally arrived. All of the debate and speculation has led up to this point. With the Dallas Stars taking defenseman Miro Heiskanen and the Colorado Avalanche selecting Cale Makar, the stage was set for a playmaking centre on Jim Benning’s list. We can only speculate that Cody Glass and Elias Pettersson were part of that list with maybe a consideration for Gabriel Vilardi. Given the choice, Glass was my favourite player to select.
The Canucks have selected Swedish centre Elias Pettersson 5th overall in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. This is a good pick for me. A real swing for the fences selection. If you haven’t checked out my draft profile on him, Pettersson has an immense amount of offensive talent. He may be slight at 165 lbs, but at 6-foot-2, he has time to fill in his frame.
Here is how Petterson’s draft season stacks up against some of the best in Allsvenskan:
As you can see, Pettersson has the fifth best season at his age. Players like William Nylander, Patrik Berglund, Filip Forsberg and Alexander Wennberg hold some of the best seasons in this league under the age of 19.
Pettersson is slightly older than William Nylander, but if you combine both of Nylander’s stints in the Allsvenskan in his draft year, he totaled 27 points in 35 games (0.77 PPG). Pettersson is an impressive player, and if he can increase his strength and mass over the next couple of seasons, he may become one heck of a player for the Canucks going forward.
Here is a link to Pettersson’s highlights from last season.
*EDIT*: Glass was originally my favourite because he was a safer pick, but I truly commend the Canucks for going all in on a skilled player like Pettersson.