Overall, interest in the World Junior Hockey Championship seems to be somewhat waning. Crowds in Buffalo have been sparse and the tournament’s marquee outdoor event, though in the end dramatic, was, well, a senseless mess.
Out in Vancouver, though, you can’t blame Canucks fans if they’re glued to their television sets. They have a handful of quality prospects in the tournament to keep watch over, including two still likely thawing from Friday’s arctic clash in Canada’s Jonah Gadjovich and Will Lockwood of the United States. (Though Lockwood might be wise to still be on ice after picking up an injury in the game).
Finland’s Olli Juolevi, too, is impressing while logging major minutes for a medal contender, but it’s Elias Pettersson, the second of consecutive fifth overall selections for the franchise, that should really have the fanbase abuzz.
Sweden’s Pettersson earned a share of the tournament lead in points with two goals and three points in Saturday’s dominant win over the Swiss, which included this salivating bit of skill.
.@Canucks prospect Elias Pettersson comes down the wing and makes a ridiculous move before diving across the crease to finish it off in style for Team Sweden (@Trekronorse).#WorldJuniors #TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/koB4KOcThM
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 30, 2017
How he went from appearing forced to travel behind the net to sliding it around the goalie – airborne – inside the far post, is simply astounding.
With Brock Boeser making serviceable players look like superstars on a nightly basis now for the big club, and one of the strongest collection prospects showing out on the international stage, it’s safe to say, regardless of seeding, there have been worse times to be a fan of the Canucks.
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