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Elias Pettersson is playing in the Allsvenskan, and has had a tremendous year with 19 goals and 41 points in 43 games for Timra IK. Petterson added six points in three playoff games, but it was not enough to help Timra advance to the SHL next season. He was also very good at the 2016 Under 18s with eight points in seven games, and looked good at World Junior tryout camps, making the Swedish team. During the tournament itself, he was much more dangerous than his stat line of just one assist in six games shows.
His brother, Emil Pettersson, was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL draft, and is playing in the SHL.
Elias Pettersson Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #10
Center/Right Wing — shoots Left
Born Nov 12 1998 — Sundsvall, Sweden
Height 6’2″ — Weight 161 lbs [188 cm / 73 kg]
Pettersson is a good skater. His top end speed and acceleration are both very good, but there is still room to improve as well. The best part of his skating though is his agility and edge work. Pettersson can stop and cut on a dime, and make a number of moves that can help him to get past a defender. His balance and power leave something to be desired, though that is likely due to his slender frame. If he can add lower body strength, he would be better on the boards, and at fighting through checks.
Pettersson has a very good frame, but really needs to bulk up. He has very good offensive instincts and makes smart plays with the puck. His hockey IQ is his biggest weapon, as it seems that Pettersson almost always makes the right play with the puck on his stick. Pettersson is very good at give-and-go type plays, dishing the puck and then skating to open ice. He shows off his intelligence by spotting the open areas of the ice, and getting himself open to make plays.
His stick handling and puck possession are also extremely good, and he can create plays off the rush or in the offensive zone. He can make plays with the puck while moving at top speed. He also controls the puck well down low, but this is an area where the added bulk will really be needed before he moves to the next level. Pettersson shows a very good work ethic. He is tenacious in puck pursuit, and with his forechecking, despite his slender fram. Pettersson is also extremely hard to stop if he gets a defenceman one-on-one. He also has excellent vision and passing skills. To top it off, he has a strong and accurate wrist shot and quick release.
Pettersson’s work ethic extends to all three zones. He continues his relentless pursuit of the puck into the neutral and defensive zones. He brings excellent back pressure and supports the defence down low. Pettersson has very good hockey IQ, and is rarely caught out of position. At the international level, he has been used on the penalty kill, showing a willingness to block shots as well.
Projection and Comparison
While Pettersson is a very good player, he is not yet close to being NHL ready. He needs to pack on serious muscle to his slender frame and continue to work on his top end speed and acceleration. There are a number of very good tools here though, and Pettersson has the potential to become a top line centre in the NHL. However, it may be more realistic to see him top out as a very good second liner. Petterson’s style is reminiscent of Henrik Zetterberg, but this is not a talent comparision.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on Our Draft Board.