Team Sweden will be without Canucks prospect Elias Pettersson in their lineup today when they play Team USA (White) at the World Junior Summer Showcase.
Pettersson, who was selected fifth overall by the Canucks in this year’s NHL Draft, missed a considerable amount of time during yesterday’s contest against the U.S., before it was revealed afterward that he aggravated a previous injury, according to ESPN’s Corey Pronman.
Given that news, it’s not surprising to see Pettersson held out of today’s game, per reports.
By selecting Pettersson, the Canucks add a talented and creative young center to their prospect pool. But he’ll need some time to develop physically before he’s ready for the NHL.
He stands at 6-foot-2 tall, but weighs in at only 165 pounds, which means he’ll need to grow into that frame. At 18 years of age, there is still plenty of time to do that.
“You’re going to have to be patient with him,” one scout told Ben Kuzma of Postmedia. “The advantage is he’s 18 and already playing against men. Give him two years in Sweden and allow him to gain that 30 pounds that he’s going to need before he can step into the NHL.
“Then you have a guy who can come in as a 20 year old.”
Meanwhile, Blackhawks prospect and Finnish defenseman Henri Jokiharju — the 29th overall selection this year — was hurt during today’s game against Team USA (Blue), per Adam Kimelman of NHL.com.