Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: C Elias Pettersson

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Once again the Vancouver Canucks failed to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. So, instead of competing for the Stanley Cup, Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the upcoming months to prepare next season’s roster. Now that the organisation is officially in a ‘transition period’, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be of utmost importance.

A four-game winning streak to start the 2016-17 season gave fans hope for the playoffs. But — blame the coach, the roster, injuries or anything else — unfortunately, the team was unable to play competitively for an entire season. With that, they are guaranteed another high draft pick this year.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming draft by profiling as many eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

This year’s draft seems wide-open, with no real consensus in any of the seven rounds. So, it will certainly be interesting to see who will put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey come June.

This time, we look at Swedish center Elias Pettersson!

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Name: Elias Pettersson

Position: Center/Left Wing

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1998-11-12

Height, weight: 6’2″, 161 lbs

Team, league: Timrå IK, Allsvenskan

Stats (from 








#5 by
#16 by ISS Hockey
#9 by Future Considerations
#7 by McKeen’s Hockey
#2 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2.5/5, 4.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-two center

Draft Range: Top 15

Scouting report

"A crafty and agile two-way forward, Pettersson is consistently productive in all three zones. As he gets stronger, he’ll become even more physical and aggressive than he is now, and his creativity could definitely elevate his game to dominant levels. He can be described as a tenacious, jack-of-all-trades kind of player; he is well versed in all the important aspects of his own game. His speed and top-end acceleration continue to improve game by game, and his hard-nosedness shows through in his dogged pursuit of puck control. Elias Pettersson is a complete hockey player with exceptional hockey sense who brings intellect and youthful exuberance to a game that feeds on his kind of exciting athleticism. (Elite Prospects)"


More from Draft

Pettersson is a skilled, playmaking center who set a torrid scoring pace this season in the Swedish tier two league. He sees the ice well and has high hockey IQ.

An agile skater with good hands, Pettersson is hard to defend in close. He can create space for himself with quick feet and creative dekes.

In addition to his skill, Pettersson shows good work ethic on the ice. He plays an up-tempo style, and is determined in pursuit of pucks. Rather than stay on the perimeter, he drives the net with and without the puck.

On defense, he plays sound positionally and blocks shooting and passing lanes.


What immediately jumps out is Pettersson’s size. He stands an impressive 6-foot-2, but weights a mere 161 pounds. Clearly, he has a lot of physical growth left to do.

A lanky frame which has yet to fill out means that Pettersson can get knocked off the puck by physical defenders. Additionally, some scouts believe his conditioning and stamina also need to improve.

Related Story: Canucks Should Consider Trading Down at Draft

Finally, though he moves well and has the skills to carry the puck at speed, scouts point to his acceleration and top speed as areas of needed growth.

All these weaknesses should improve in the next few years with more physical growth and off-ice work in the gym. Pettersson looks like he will need more development time before he is ready to jump into NHL action. But all signs point to him having enough talent to propel him to success once his body catches up.

Final Thoughts

Up until recently, Pettersson was a teammate of new Canucks prospect Jonathan Dahlen, acquired from the Ottawa Senators in their deadline deal for Alexandre Burrows.

Playing on the same line with Timrå IK, they finished one and two in scoring on their team. Their nearly point-a-game pace put them both in the top-ten in Allsvenskan league scoring. Considering their obvious physical disadvantages as smaller, 18-year-old players competing against older, stronger competition, this is an impressive showing for both.

The Canucks could draft Pettersson and hope that the chemistry with Dahlen translates to North America, and eventually the NHL. There is certainly an obvious precedent for Vancouver importing two linemates from Sweden, with great success.

Next: All 2017 NHL Draft Profiles

The draft lottery will see the Vancouver Canucks select as high as first or as low as fifth. Pettersson looks like a fine prospect, but taking him that high would be a reach. Even outside the top three, taking Pettersson would mean passing on prospects with a higher ceiling, such as Casey Mittelstadt, Owen Tippett and Timothy Liljegren.

It looks like a Dahlen-Pettersson reunion will not be in the cards, unless the Canucks trade down to the tenth pick or below.