One of the players on the bubble to make Sweden’s World Junior Championships team is Viktor Persson and he is missing out on a golden opportunity to showcase his abilities.
As the Karjala Cup continues on with Vasili Podkolzin and Dmitri Zlodeyev already getting a game under their belt yesterday, Persson will have to wait to get a chance to push for a spot on his U20 team.
Persson was supposed to play in a U20 matchup against Finland on Thursday but it’s looking like the U20 friendly tournament Persson was supposed to be a part of is being cancelled.
I'm hearing the U20 tournament that Canucks prospect Viktor Persson was supposed to play in has been cancelled.
Today's game is not being played. Heard that it's the whole tournament though.
This is bad news for Persson, as he needs to have a good showing to make the WJC team.
— 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 Faber (@ChrisFaber39) November 5, 2020
Cam Robinson of DobberProspects reported that three Finnish players tested positive for COVID-19, which means that the Swedish team will not play its series against Finland. Jokke Nevalainen confirmed the tournament was cancelled early Thursday morning.
As we approach December, Persson will need to continue to show well to earn his spot on Sweden’s WJC team. He has an uphill battle to make the team and the news of him playing in this tournament was great news as he would have been able to compete with some of the best U20 players that Sweden has to offer.
Persson has been electric since getting drafted by the Canucks and likely wanted to continue to raise his stock in a U20 situation. He has been scoring goals and been at almost a point per game since being picked by the Canucks in the 2020 draft. Persson is set to join the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL this Winter.
The perfect scenario for Persson is for him to make the Swedish WJC team and then stay in Western Canada after the tournament. He could see a big boost to his confidence before making his WHL debut if he is able to have success with Sweden at the World Juniors. His offensive ability and physicality is definitely good enough to make the Swedish team but with some defencemen ahead of him in the depth charts being SHL or Allsvenskan defenceman, he’s in tough to make the cut.
It’s clear that he is on their radar, but has a lot of work to do to make the roster. This mini-tournament would have been the perfect platform for him to show that but he will have to return to his J20 SuperElit league and put up points like he has been. There’s a lot of good tape on Persson already but the quality of competition he is playing against is not the strongest.
Have to say I am impressed by Viktor Perssons offensive skills. Very good skating and handles the puck well. I see why Vancouver drafted him in the 7th round. Surprised Brynäs haven’t tried him in SHL yet. #ViktorPersson #BrynasJ20 pic.twitter.com/0v1SBmcUgH
— Swedish Scouting | North (@SwedishScouting) November 2, 2020
This is Persson’s final year of eligibility for the World Junior Championships and he will continue to work his way onto this roster no matter where he is playing.
We will continue to follow his rise and will keep you fully updated on Persson’s chances of making Sweden’s WJC team.