Greetings from Finland!
And welcome to my first SHL update. I took over the SHL coverage from Brad Phillips, so I have some big shoes to fill here but I hope you enjoy my version of this!
My name is Jokke Nevalainen, and I’m writing to you from Tampere, Finland. My previous work here has included covering the Florida Panthers (which I still do), and I’ve also written a couple of mid-season scoring analyses (CHL and NCAA) but from now on, I’ll allocate a big chunk of my hockey-watching time on the SHL.
One thing you may not know about Finland is that it’s a bilingual country where our second official language is Swedish, and although my Swedish is pretty bad, it still helps me when I’m navigating the SHL.se website which is good because they have a lot of interesting stats.
The SHL is currently on Olympic break until February 24th, and all teams have just seven games remaining on the season. There’s a total of 14 teams in the league but a few of them don’t have any interesting prospects, so I’ll be focusing on the teams that actually have fantasy-relevant prospects on the roster. Let’s start at the top and move our way down the standings.
Växjö is leading the league by a wide margin, and their leading scorer is 19-year-old forward Elias Pettersson (Canucks) who has 45 points in 37 games, and he’s also leading the league with his 1.22 points-per-game average. Pettersson has been especially dangerous on the power play where 21 of his 45 points have been scored. Pettersson was recently voted “Top Rising Prospect” and “Top Forward” in our Mid-Season Fantasy Hockey Awards.
Pettersson started the season playing right wing but was moved to his natural center position after the World Junior Championship. However, it appears Växjö wasn’t satisfied with his work at center because just before the break they acquired a center and moved Pettersson back to wing. Our very own prospect guru and Canucks expert Cam Robinson linked an interesting article from Daily Hive which detailed some of the struggles Pettersson had when he was playing center, and Cam’s comments on Twitter were: “The transition to the smaller ice will certainly be a difficult adjustment period. Patience will be needed”. When Cam says something like this, I take it seriously.
One interesting free agent on the Växjö team is 23-year-old defenseman