The Calgary Flames have a handful of prospects with bonafide World Junior aspirations as we head into December, but one prominent prospect won’t be headed overseas. FlamesNation has confirmed with the Norwegian Ice Hockey Association that Emilio Pettersen won’t be playing for them at the upcoming Division 1A World Junior Championship in December.
Pettersen was a sixth round selection of the Flames in the 2018 NHL Draft. Continuing in the fine tradition of recent late round picks – see also: Andrew Mangiapane, Matthew Phillips, Dmitry Zavgorodniy and Dustin Wolf – he’s been very productive since being selected.
Pettersen is currently a sophomore with the University of Denver Pioneers, where he has 10 points in 13 games and plays on their top line. He participated in last year’s Division 1A World Juniors for Norway, but his participation meant that he missed a game with his club team. (The schedule worked out so that he only missed one game because of breaks in Denver’s schedule.) This year’s schedule sees the Division 1A tournament coincide with a tough pair of games against the Arizona State Sun Devils (and Flames prospect Demetrious Koumontzis), then a pair of conference games against Colorado College.
While this is speculation, it makes sense that given how important Pettersen is to the Pioneers this season and how much it could derail his (and their) season to miss time, that both the Flames and the Pioneers would probably prefer he stay with his college team. According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, the Flames have had a presence at “almost every” Denver game with an eye towards the player potentially going pro next season.
The Division 1A World Junior tournament is one level below the main championship division and features Denmark, Belarus, Norway, Latvia, Austria and Slovenia. The winning team promoted to championship division, while the last place squad is relegated to Division 1B for the following year.