If you’re someone that follows this site or otherwise keeps track of the Calgary Flames’ prospects, undoubtedly you’ve heard a ton about Emilio Pettersen. The Flames’ sixth round pick from the 2018 NHL Draft, he’s become a star in college hockey for the University of Denver Pioneers.
Based on Brad Treliving’s chat with local media on Thursday, it sounds like Pettersen will be returning to college. Probably.
Asked (by me) about what Pettesen’s next year might look like, Treliving spoke generally about how well the Norwegian has been performing:
… At the end of the year I like to get discussion and just see how their season was, what they think they need to work on, and then talk about the future. And Emilio is certainly a player we think a lot of. We think he’s going to be a player for us down the road. We talk about how far down the road that is, whether that’s him coming out. Those are things we have discussions about and we’ll see where it goes, but certainly have talked to Emilio, think he’s going to be a real good player and had a good year.
Asked (again, by me) if he had a sense yet if Pettersen was going back to school or coming out, Treliving tipped his hand a bit but left possibilities open:
I think the plan all along was him to go back for the junior season. I don’t know if that plan’s going to change or not. We’ll see that probably in the next week or so. The plan I think for all of us was that he would go back next year, but we’ll see if that changes here in the next week or so.
In short? The plan they mapped out awhile ago was for Pettersen to play his junior year. That said, Pettersen likely hasn’t declared anything yet to the Flames – Shane Pinto and Jacob Bernard-Docker have both told the Ottawa Senators they’re definitely staying in school, for example – and so the door is open for Pettersen to maneuver if he wants.
So he’s probably going back to school, but the door hasn’t fully closed on going pro for 2020-21. But that door might close next week.
Pettersen was recently named Denver’s Offensive Player of the Year in their annual team awards, as he led his team in scoring. He was a conference second team All-Star and finalist for conference Forward of the Year. He’s quite good at college hockey.