Friday, February 22, 2013

Jorgen Petterson

One of the most underrated European players of the 1980s, in my estimation anyway, was Jorgen Petterson of the St. Louis Blues. He also briefly played in Hartford and Washington.

The personable Vastra Frolunda star came over to the NHL in 1980 and was a very steady goal scorer. 37. Then 38. Then 35. He played really well on a line featuring fellow marksman Joe Mullen and playmaking wizard Blake Dunlop.

"The difference in the NHL, apart from the roughness of the play, is that there is more shooting. In Sweden we tend to look for the perfect opportunity whereas in the NHL you blast away and hope for a screened shot or a deflection or perhaps a rebound" Pettersen said. Clearly he adapted well.

When Dunlop was traded in 1983-84 Pettersson's offensive totals slowed down but he remained a a solid 25 goal threat. His game evolved, too. He was no longer just the stylish offensive player who relied on speed and agility but really became comfortable on the penalty kill. Defensively he was always conscientious. While the physical game was never his forte, he never shied away from taking a hit to make a play.

In 435 NHL games Jorgen Pettersson scored 174 goals, 192 assists for 366 points.


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