The Dallas Stars have the third overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and it’s one of the most intriguing spots in the draft.
Brandon Wheat Kings center Nolan Patrick and Halifax Moosheads center Nico Hischier are considered the top prospects in this draft class. There is some debate whether Patrick or Hischier will go first overall, but there seems to be a consensus opinion that neither will make it past the second pick.
That means the Stars could go in any direction at No. 3 and it’s not a bad spot. While this draft is considered weaker than past years, Dallas will still get a very good prospect at No. 3 and a player that should make an impact in the NHL.
Since the NHL Draft Lottery I’ve taken time to watch video and spoken with others that have watched these draft prospects closely to create my own scouting reports for 12 players that Dallas could consider at No. 3.
Today we are looking at Elias Pettersson. You can follow these links for past scouting reports on Casey Mittelstadt, Gabriel Vilardi, Michael Rasmussen, Cody Glass, Owen Tippett, Eeli Tolvanen, and Klim Kostin.
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6-foot-2, 161 pounds
Timra IK (Allsvenskan)
Elias Pettersson is a long-term project, but it could be an exciting project for whichever team picks the Swedish center.
The raw talent is undeniable and Pettersson looked dominant playing for the Timra IK in Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second-highest league, where he had 41 points in 43 games this season. However, Pettersson didn’t show up on a larger scale and struggled in the World Junior Championships where he had one point in six games.
Pettersson is also undersized at 6-foot-2 (188 CM) and just 161 pounds (73 KG). Despite those knocks against him, Pettersson is still the second-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting and could be an elite talent in the NHL at some point.
He’s a creative two-way forward and is efficient in all three zones. He’s a quick skater, reaching top speed rather quickly, and he’s always a step ahead of the competition in Allsvenskan. His teammates take advantage of the open space he creates and Pettersson is a smart passer.
Pettersson has a quick release and a heavy wrist shot, but wasn’t able to utilize it as a weapon at the World Junior Championships as he struggled to create open space against tougher competition.
Pettersson isn’t a viable option at No. 3 because of his status as a long-term project (he does have a contract in Sweden through the 2019-20 season). He’ll need to bulk up, a lot, and learn the North American game, but he does have an undeniable skillset and can play wing or center.
Pettersson ranges anywhere from a top-five pick to a late first-rounder, and could be a long-term steal for whichever team selects the shifty Swede.