Monday Mailbag: Being higher on Elias Pettersson than most, picking at 11th, and who to watch at Young Stars

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
By Faber
11 months ago
We are back with another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy.
There’s action overseas as Conor Garland, Arturs Silovs, Tyler Myers, and Ethan Bear participate in the IIHF World Championship. Connor Lockhart is the only prospect who still remains in their playoff run — he and his Peterborough Petes are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series to decide the OHL champion.
It’s nice to see Silovs getting some time for Latvia at the World Championships and Lockhart is now up to six goals and seven assists through 19 playoff games.
That’s all you need to know about on-ice play from the past week.
Now, let’s not waste any more words and dive into questions from the wonderful people of #CanucksTwitter. Silly season is upon us and we have some questions along those lines.
Let’s bust open the bag and see what we have this week!
Luke Schenn provided good veteran depth to the Toronto Maple Leafs on their conquest to a second-round outing at the hands of the Florida Panthers.
Many teams will likely be looking to get Schenn on a short-term, low-money deal but there are likely some teams that will bid up on the right-shot defenceman. At 33 years old, Schenn is certainly not a spring chicken but he has reinvented his game and has the potential to play in the NHL for at least a few more years.
If Schenn believes in the organization, he could very easily be back with the Canucks. I just don’t see it happening.
I’d expect Ethan Bear to be the defenceman who is partnered up with Quinn Hughes to begin the 2023-24 season.
Defencemen will always rise as the draft approaches, that’s just the way of the league.
If I had the choice out of these four players, I would rank Matvei Michkov first because he has the potential to be a superstar in the NHL — it’s just a waiting game and the general managers who are in the the position to draft Michkov, likely don’t feel all that great about their job security.
Second on my list would be David Reinbacher. The right-shot defenceman is a great stylistic fit with Quinn Hughes if Reinbacher develops to be near his ceiling.
Zach Benson would be the third pick of mine as he plays the game extremely hard and has some star potential in his game.
Axel Sandin Pellikka comes in last as I don’t think he’s the second-best right-shot defenceman in this draft.
From all that I’ve seen from Sweden this year, I believe that Tom Willander is the second-best right-shot defenceman in the 2023 draft class.
He is a tremendous skater who is rarely caught out of position and though he lacks the offence right now, he tracks as a defenceman who would be a great support guy for a number one. His ceiling is a top-pairing defenceman, but he would need to be with a prolific puck-mover.
Willander kills penalties and can chip in on a power play when playing with his age group, but what most impressed us was his calmness under pressure. To see that poise at such a young age does a lot for how I evaluate a defenceman. He will be able to move the puck under duress and will probably be a top-15 pick in the draft.
This is actually a very easy choice for me.
I’m higher on Elias Pettersson (D-Petey) than most.
When you look at the rest of the top-five prospects, all of them have questions about their game.
Arturs Silovs is a goalie, Aatu Räty has skating to work on, Danila Klimovich has defence to work on, and Jonathan Lekkerimäki has compete-level and his defensive play at five-on-five to work on.
Pettersson just doesn’t seem to have a glaring question mark in his game. The worry would be that he doesn’t elevate his play enough to be a quality NHL player and his ice time did happen to crash and burn in the SHL playoffs, but there’s just a very solid, well-rounded defenceman with Pettersson.
He also showed a lot of improvement in the weaker parts of his game this year. We saw some offence when he was playing international games and was the most-trusted penalty-killing defenceman for Sweden at the World Junior Championships this past winter.
Pettersson is still in the mix to be the Canucks’ top prospect.
I’d like to see Cole McWard be a player who is driving the back end for the Canucks at Young Stars. The 21-year-old right-shot defenceman left school early for these types of developmental opportunities and with some NHL games in his back pocket, he should be able to dominate at Young Stars.
Danila Klimovich is the other name to watch. He shined at times during last year’s Young Stars and if he had a big summer, and makes even more improvements to his game in line with what we saw this season, he will be a hell of a scorer against these kids.
Speed Round!
Oliver Moore because he’s a centre and a very good driver of play.
Matthew Wood has big potential but will he be able to put it all together is the question.
I have tried the new sandwich and I thought the sauce was delicious but I had a bad batch of bacon that brought the sandwich down.
Be better, Arby’s.
Matvei Michkov is probably the only no-brainer but there’s a couple of other guys like Colby Barlow and Andrew Cristall that look like they are going to be studs.
Nice try, Patrik.
I just keep getting this feeling that it’s going to be Dalibor Dvortský.
And honestly, I’d be fine with it. It’s not ideal but I’m fine with it if he can be a centre.
It’s going well. My best man is handling most of it and he seems to have it all under control. Some golf, some fishing, and some fun is certainly in the cards.
In the NHL, for the Canucks, I’d go with Akito Hirose because he left a strong impression on the coach and general manager.
I think they will get him signed. I just don’t know if they are going to give him an NHL contract.
It’s probably going to be pretty tight for teams to make any big moves.
I’ll go with a four out of 10. I think we will see a couple of big and exciting moves.
That wraps up another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy. Thanks to everyone who sent in a question on Twitter and if you have an offseason question, leave it in the comments with the #MM hashtag. I’ll be looking for them next week.
Stay hydrated, folks. It’s hot out there.
See you all next week.

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