From Youtube sensation to NCAA sensation: a journey eight years in the making for Calgary Flames prospect Mathias Emilio Pettersen.
When we last checked in
Pettersen was drafted out of the USHL, where he put up decent but not astounding numbers. The 5’10 left-handed forward (he plays all three positions, was primarily RW for Denver) was a ho-hum producer for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Generally regarded for his high hockey IQ and slick moves, he never really showed them off enough to make a major impression, and slipped all the way into the Flames’ hands in the sixth round.
Well, there’s not really any better way to begin your college career than with three points in your first game, followed up by three more in the next five, and topped off with a Rookie of the Month award, but that’s how Pettersen began his year.
Pettersen was a first liner from game one and never looked back. He was trusted as an offensive weapon, running the set-up role on the first power play unit and on the extra attacker unit. Generally, coaches relied upon him for offence, and he usually delivered.
The impressive three point per game streak was never going to last long, few of them do. Pettersen cooled off in the weeks following, but still chipped in here and there for the Pioneers. The one negative would be that he started to disappear entirely towards the end of the season.
If none of that was impressive enough for you, Pettersen also helped lead the Norwegian WJC team to a Div-1A bronze medal, finishing with six points in four games.
— Aaron Goldschmidt (@lateinthegoldie) November 4, 2018
Numbers & Growth
|League||GP||G||A||P||Primary points||5v5 points||5v5 primary points||NHLe|
Pettersen’s early season dominance and later season mediocrity is pretty evident in the charts. He slowed down heavily towards the end of the year, only picking up six points in his final ten games, and 11 in the final 20 of the season. Even so, that being considered the low point for Pettersen is pretty impressive. His USHL NHLe implied that he might score 19 points in the NCAA, showing just how much of an offensive leap he took.
His impact on Denver’s offence can’t be understated. Pettersen was involved in 27.95% of all Denver goals, and on 23.55% of 5v5 goals, and finished second in team scoring, second in power play scoring, and third in 5v5 scoring. Expanding the scope to the NCAA, he finished fourth among all freshman, but second behind Joel Farabee (14th overall pick) in true freshman scoring.
— anders Blegeberg (@Blegeberg) March 9, 2019
There are still negatives to Pettersen’s game that haven’t really been resolved from his USHL days. He still picks up a lot more secondary points than you would like. When only considering primary points, Pettersen’s contribution % to Denver goals drops to 16.77% and 15.24% at all situations and 5v5, respectively.
Pettersen is headed back to college, hoping to replicate his success. He is losing linemate Jarid Lukosevicius, but he is gaining one in projected first rounder (and potential Flame) Bobby Brink. It’s going to be tough to meet the expectations this season set, but if he takes another large leap, it’s entirely feasible that he becomes one of the NCAA’s bonafide stars.
If things go right, Pettersen could find himself in the pros by the end of next season. Signing next season would give him a three year ELC, which works out favourably for both sides. They don’t need to sign him for another three years, but if he has another great season, it does make sense to fast track him. The Flames could always ease him into the NHL in the bottom six, or let him develop in the AHL. Either way, there’s nothing but excitement for Pettersen.