Whenever NHL fans talk about hockey players out of Norway, Mats Zuccarello is the gold standard. Compared to any other Norwegian NHLer, his 262 points is a cut above. The next Norwegian player we’ll start to talk about is Mathias Emilio Pettersen.
Pettersen, 17 (his birthday is April 3rd), will be playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL this season. Last year he played for the Omaha Lancers. In 57 games, he had 10 goals and 27 points. At 5-10, 170 pounds he’s bigger than Zuccarello but the one thing they have in common is knowing where to go on the ice. With or without the puck he’s always ready to make a play.
He left Norway at the age of 14 to be able to play hockey in the United States. At 15, he was committed to the University of Denver. Many have proclaimed that he’ll be the greatest player to come out of the “Land of the Midnight Sun”. It’s a bit early for that but he will be selected in the 2018 NHL Draft. It’s too early to say what round he’ll be selected, a lot of that can be decided with the numbers that he puts up this season in the USHL and internationally.
Here’s my early scouting report on him:
“Excellent passer. Can deke around anybody to get to the net. He has a decisive shot. Great wrist shot. He has an extra gear that makes him dangerous on the give-n-go.”
This pivot is strong for his size. That will show up this season. He’s a dog lover, that will resonate with a lot of hockey fans and something tells me fans of DU will be keeping tabs on him this season.
A lot of teams can use a player like him. He’s a player who isn’t getting too much press at the moment but that should start to build in the coming months. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I write about him. I love tracking players in their draft year. Keep an eye on this guy.