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Vancouver Canucks Select Elias Petterson 5th Overall

After months of speculation, the Vancouver Canucks took to the stage at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Their haul was none other than Elias Pettersson of Timra in the Allsvenskan, a playmaking centre who’s soft hands and vision make him a sound bet for their future at the position.

In 43 games with Timra, spent mostly at left wing, Pettersson scored 41 points (19 goals and 22 assists). The 6’2″ centre is without peers when measured through the pGPS (Prospect Graduation Probabilities System), a byproduct of his gaudy scoring in a professional men’s league as a 17-year-old. When we look at Pettersson’s production through the SEAL (Situational Era Age League), he’s at the top of his entire draft class with 1.73 points per game after the adjustments.

My one question with Pettersson is how his developmental path might limit his ability to develop into an NHL centre. He’s committed to playing with the Vaxjo Lakers in the SHL next season. Pettersson revealed to me that their plan is to play him on the wing. That happens to players with slight frames in professional hockey leagues at such a young age.

Whether at centre or the wing, Pettersson looks as sound a bet as any player available to the Canucks at fifth overall to make an impact at the NHL level. If he can build on his frame and get some reps at centre with Vaxjo next season, I don’t imagine it will take long for him make his mark at the NHL level. It’s a great pick by the Canucks, of that much I have no doubt.

  • Carl Jung

    What does committed to Vaxjo Lakers mean?

    Is he not eligible to sign a contract with Vancouver and start his pro career with Dahlen in Utica next year?

    In any case, great selection.

    He could be the best player in this draft.

      • Psych Major

        What a f**king tool you are. The Sedins will be retired by the time this wimp comes over from Sweden. This is an awful pick over Glass and Vilardi and you know it.

        How many ids have you signed in as on this thread trolling your same tired bs let’s see – Bud Poile, Carl Jung, Aguaymanto, Canuck4Life20, RoCkFaTheR and ned. ALL YOU 100 per cent!!! Pathetic tw^t.

    • crofton

      I have no problem with this pick based on 2 main factors…1 there was a group of about 5-10 players that were ranked very closely and no real consensus of who was 5, who was 6 etc. and 2. he and Dahlen were both playing together against men and doing well. A third factor may be, that’s MAY be potentially more upside. But I’ll take the chemistry reason

  • Pettersson and Dahlen step in, when Henrik and Daniel step down. Two Swedes replacing two Swedes. The succession plan is set. No wonder Jim Benning didn’t want to talk about Pettersson.

    Another unexpected surprise, but a good one. High skill with lots of smarts.

  • TheRealPB

    Nice pick, high end player. A bit surprising that they did go with skill over a “safer” pick (though given the level of competition Makar and Mittelstadt I think were much riskier ones). Not surprising that McPhee didn’t go for a trade to move up one spot since they could figure out that the Canucks weren’t taking Glass.

  • Canuck4Life20

    He sure looks like a skilled player. Love the look of his drag move.

    The media had hyped up glass and I have seen some negative reaction, but this time Benning went for pure skill over intangibles. In the past he has been criticized for doing the exact opposite.

  • TD

    Hopefully he can gain 25 lbs to play at 190. I don’t mind waiting for him to play as a 20 year old. Hopefully they get lucky in the next couple draft lottery and will have a bunch of these players arrive on the team around the same time. I liked Glass a lot, but think this is also a good pick.

  • ned

    Apeers we’re looking to become a fast skilled possession team once again judging by the last two 1st round picks at 5th. Seems like a good way to go after seeing Pittsburgh win back to back.

    • Rodeobill

      klim went off the board to STL with the last pick in the first round.
      Hague, andersson-dolan, Robertson looks good, Timmons, Gadjovich. Lots of goodies left over.

  • Erik Karlsson was only 165 lbs in his draft year and now plays at 190 lbs. He seems to be doing an okay job for the Senators so for Pettersson to bulk up and be elite isn’t out of the realm of possibility. He spent a year in the SEL, then split his D+2 in the AHL and NHL. Who’s complaining about that development path now?

    I’ll say that when they announced the pick, I thought they reached too far but seeing the gong show that followed, I’m glad Benning grabbed him at #5.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    Very happy with this selection. Will obviously be trying to muscle up, but it sounds like his intangibles and unteachables are off the charts. Exactly the type of guy you want in the first round after the blue-chip superstars are gone.

    • TheRealPB

      I’m mostly glad that we didn’t trade around in the first round. There were some seriously weird non-LV trades going on there. Why on earth was Pittsburgh giving up 31 AND Sundqvist for 51 and Ryan Reaves of all people? How could Brayden Schenn be worth Lehtera AND 2 first rounders? Stepan and Raanta for a high first and DeAngelo? I clearly have badly misread the trade market for Tanev — at these prices I guess we really should have sold…

  • wojohowitz

    I don`t know what it is about Benning. Cody Glass was the safe pick – a prairie boy steeped in Canadian hockey culture with serious upside. Is Petterssen really going to be better than Glass? Why go for added risk when the two are practically a coin flip.

    Tomorrow I like Shaw or Gadjovich. Benning plays it safe with Hague or Timmins.

    • TheRealPB

      So all this time Benning gets criticized for making the ‘safe’ pick over the riskier one with upside and now you’re upset by this choice? Just as a reminder the last time we went the route you are suggesting we picked Virtanen (prairie boy steeped in Canadian hockey culture) over Nylander and Ehlers, smallish/slight offensive wizards. That’s not a knock on Glass or Vilardi who I think will be fine, nor even on Virtanen who I think people are writing off too quickly. But I really applaud JB for swinging for the fences here yet not making as risky a play as for Makar or Mittelstadt.

      • Peachy

        I’m just confused. How is a 17 year old with the highest adjusted production in the entire draft, while playing in a professional league against men (while underweight, probably the easiest deficiency to fix) a risky pick?

    • Benning went for high ceiling, not high floor. At #5, he did what he did not do in 2014 and that’s draft a 165 lbs Swede with the highest skillset / ceiling in the draft. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  • Pettersson is 6’2 and 165lbs. This is not unusual, northern European men are often tall and thin. As I recall, both twins started that way. If he can gain 15 lbs, which should be no problem over the course of one year, that puts him at 180.
    You can’t make them taller or smarter, but gaining a few pounds should be no problem. Club 16 will coach him through it.

    • Puck Viking

      best possible would have been glass, the last thing this team needs is another soft player see the sedins, sven, granlund, goldy and now petterson… in the playoffs all the top centers were big players who played hard, which this player does not.

      • Pat Quinn Way

        Top post mate, agree with every word. Benning has had four drafts and FIVE first rounders including two 5ths, a 6th, a 23rd and 24th in order to address our glaring needs – a top line centre to replace Sedin and an elite puck movng D who can run a PP… he has gotten us neither.

        Further to this Calgary and Edmonton are making killer trades that will see them making the playoffs for years to come. Astute GMs like Yzerman and the TO braintrust are pulling superb players out of the mid/late 1st round and we are doing absolutely nothing to move the club forward from a 28th and 29th place finish.

        Guys, we were a laughing stock on stage at the NHL awards/expansion draft and at yesterdays draft debacle (what was that kid getting shooed off by Bettman about!) and now the Sedins succession plan are two undersized Swedes who won’t even come to North America to play in the AHL because the Swedish hockey bodswon’t allow it?! This is a disaster that will see the Canucks in the Pacific basement for years to come. Get used to it.

        Man, i so miss the glory days of scoring titles and Art Ross/Harts, Division Titles, Western Conf titles, Presidents trophies and Stanley Cup final runs…don’t you?

  • Missing Lou

    I have a legitimate question and all the trolls and trash talkers need not respond. From what I read on Pettersson, he is smart and dogey with a possible cap as a second line C. Now where does that leave Vancouver? I have been a van fan for a lot of years and I like Bo a lot but is he the 1C for the future?

    • defenceman factory

      I haven’t read any scouting reports that cap this kid as a 2C. They all describe him as a top 6 forward. The expectation is he will develop beyond Horvat but time will tell. Hopefully we will get a good look at him during the WJC this year.

    • Neil B

      I’ve not seen anything that caps him out at 2C either; I’ve seen more than one report that listed him & Yamamoto as the two guys who would be in the top 3 if they were slightly taller/heavier.

      Bo could be a 1C, in a similar way to Bergevin being a 1C–in that neither is really a prototypical 1C, but he can & does eat up the minutes and can produce. But it’s a better use of his skill-set if he’s 2C with someone with true scoring moxy at the 1C position.

  • Fortitude00

    Wasn’t my pick but I am ok with it. Kid seems to have skill set to maybe be a #1 centre one day. Just wish he was Canadian. We need more Canadian kids to build around.

  • Dirk22

    Not sure why people are getting worked up about his weight. He’s 6’2 – not going to be 165 lbs forever. Glass seems like a great young kid and I would have been happy with him but by all accounts Peterson may have more upside which is what you want with a 5th pick. Very happy Benning went for a little more risk with this pick even if it’ might be 2-3 years before we see him.

    What happened to Vilardi I wonder ? Quite a drop

    • Neil B

      Only when you have a dance partner. We went through this with Virtanen: if you want him, and he ranks 2-4 spots back of where you are, you are unlikely to find a dance partner, unless they crave the guy that Vegas wanted at #6. With a draft year this volatile, the Rangers were not going to move from 7-5 for Glass.