Elias Pettersson (D-Petey) plays a physical game against Finland at the World Junior Summer Showcase

Photo credit:@orebrohockey on IG
By Faber
8 months ago
Fresh off my vacation days, I’ll be diving right into some prospect coverage with three Vancouver Canucks prospects participating in the World Junior Summer Showcase.
I’ll go back and get to the prior games of the tournament as the first half of the showcase is already completed.
On Wednesday morning, Sweden faced off with Finland and that meant that 2022 third-round pick Elias Pettersson (D-Petey) was in action.
D-Petey was listed as the left-shot defenceman on the third pairing but in the first period, his pairing also featured Detroit Red Wings 2022 fourth-round pick Anton Johansson was used a ton at even strength. Pettersson had a strong first period, he threw some hits early in the game and then settled into playing the strong defensive defenceman style that he thrives in.
D-Petey also added a couple of shots on net in the first period even though they weren’t very dangerous. He was finding a lot of ice in the offensive zone and was able to funnel pucks toward the net against the Finnish squad. Finland was doing a good job of jamming up the slot with bodies and we were hoping to see team Sweden figure out their offence a bit as they had a lot of shots on net in the first period but weren’t able to turn those shots into many scoring chances.
Finland goalie and Seattle Kraken 2022 second-round pick Niklas Kokko was the story of the first period. Sweden outshot Finland 17-4 but the Finns were able to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The second period began with an early power play for the Finns. D-Petey was the first defenceman over the boards and went to work protecting his net. Finland maintained possession in the offensive zone for 90 seconds and Pettersson was on the ice the entire time. Sweden ended up killing off the penalty and D-Petey continues to be a horse on the penalty kill for his country.
Just one minute after Sweden killed off the penalty, they took another early penalty in the second period and went back to work on the penalty kill.
They killed off another penalty and then were able to build on their momentum and tie the game up at one-one. Pettersson continued to protect his crease and got into a little, 10-second shoving match with a Finnish played just after the game returned to evens.
Sweden went to a full two-minute five-on-three with three minutes left in the second period with a 1-1 score. D-Petey was not a part of the power play units and Sweden was unable to gain a lead on their two-man advantage.
We went into the second intermission with a 1-1 tie and D-Petey continued to push around the Finns.
Sweden went back to the penalty kill early in the third period, and once again, D-Petey was on the first defence pairing that took the ice for the shorthanded ice time. Sweden was able to kill off the penalty and D-Petey had some good challenges in the corner to create turnovers. He used his long reach and size to gain position on the Finnish players and they were unable to get any scoring chances on their power play attempt.
We saw a pair of quick goals from Sweden to make it 3-1 early in the third period as the pressure that they were throwing at Kokko finally broke through. The highlight of those two goals was 2023 first-round pick Axel Sandin Pellikka scoring a nice goal where he showcased his offensive chops.
Sandin Pellikka was the third right-shot defenceman to go in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft after David Reinbacher (Montreal) and Canucks draft pick Tom Willander — who is not participating in this showcase due to him having to get his student visa in order so that there are no problems with him attending Boston University this fall.
Sweden was tasked with a five-on-three penalty kill with a two-goal lead and 10:23 remaining in the period. The two penalty-takers were defencemen for Sweden and that meant that D-Petey would be tasked with a lot of ice time. He was out on the ice as Sweden began to kill the two-man disadvantage.
He missed on a shot block and Finland chipped away at Sweden’s lead.
Finland added a goal late but that was as close as they’d come.
Overall, it was a fine performance for D-Petey but he did struggle with puck possession at times and missed quite a few passes to his defence partner at five-on-five. It looked like he was having some trouble with the ice, especially late in periods but there still weren’t any glaring mistakes throughout the game.
D-Petey was probably the most physical player in the game, so that’s a good thing and he also fired a lot of shot attempts at even-strength. The shots weren’t really that impressive as many missed the net or didn’t make it through the traffic in front of the net.
It wasn’t a great performance for Pettersson but he did show well in the areas of strength that we have seen from him in the past.
Sweden’s next game is set for Friday at 10:00 am PT when they battle with USA Blue.
We will have you covered with Pettersson’s performance in that game and are now getting set to watch Canucks prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Jackson Dorrington face off as the two USA teams play at 1:00 pm PT on Wednesday. That article will come later Wednesday.

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