Vancouver Canucks prospects: 2018 World Juniors tournament report card

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Elias Pettersson
BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Elias Pettersson /
5 of 5

RW Elias Pettersson (Team Sweden)

7 GP: 5 Goals + 2 Assists

Many had Elias Pettersson as the most skilled player at this year’s tournament and he did not disappoint.

The Good

The skill and offensive talent were oozing out of Pettersson the entire tournament. His dekes, like this one below, showed how Pettersson could dominate with the puck on his stick.

His passing was sublime as well. He created multiple chances and goals from his spot on the powerplay, making cross-ice saucer passes to William Nylander on the other side at will. His anticipation and hockey IQ is also evident in this cute pass, too.

But the most fascinating part of his game was how strong his shot is despite him being such a light and rather lanky player. His wrist shot was on display the entire tournament and it was quick, accurate, and deadly. If Boeser’s wrist shot is a powerful cannon, Pettersson’s is like a bullet from a sniper rifle.

Oh, and for good measures, Pettersson proved that he was not a physically lacking player with this solid check against Team USA.

The Bad

Was there any bad? Pettersson was not feeling 100% to begin the tournament but was playing well anyhow. His biggest loss in this tournament is the fact that Casey Mittlestadt managed to out-perform him. Though this won’t be a big problem for many, considering that the Canucks were rumored to be interested in picking Mittlestadt with the fifth-overall pick last year, this was a small loss on Pettersson’s part.

A. Elias Pettersson declared to the hockey world that he was just twenty pounds of body mass away from potentially going first overall in last year’s draft.. RW. Team Sweden. ELIAS PETTERSSON

The only real downside for Pettersson at this tournament is the fact that he did not play at center. And how did he not get selected as one of Sweden’s top three players???

Next: It's time to stop hating Olli Juolevi

Overall, it was a great tournament for the Canucks. Those who made it showed that they were all capable of meeting or exceeding expectations. Those who didn’t make it were inspired to challenge themselves even more. And that early pick in the 2018 draft looks real good for the Canucks.