As the Nashville Predators head to their first Western Conference finals, the front office is still hard at work to bring in talent from outside the organization. Today they signed Swedish forward Emil Pettersson to a two-year, entry-level deal. He’ll join the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL to begin next season.
Pettersson has played in the Swedish Hockey League for the past two seasons (after several in the second division), showing that he can keep up with professionals. Splitting this season between Skelleftea and Vajxo he scored 38 points in 51 games and turned it on in the playoffs with seven more points. The 23-year old was selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, but has developed into a legitimate prospect with a chance at the NHL.
The biggest hurdle will be Pettersson’s size, as at 6’2″ 164-lbs he still rail-thin. While it has hindered him only slightly in Sweden it may affect him more on this side of the Atlantic where more time is often spent in the corners and battling in front of the net. It will be interesting to see if his body can handle the longer season and increased physicality of the North American game.