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Report: Pettersson a Free Agent After Modo Relegation

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Modo Hockey has long been one of Sweden's great hockey factories with the likes of Peter Forsberg, the Sedin twins, Markus Naslund, and Victor Hedman all once dawning the historic crest. However, after an elimination in a relegation round robin by Filip Forsberg's former team Leksands IF, they have been relegated to the Swedish B League and their players, including Nashville Predators prospect Emil Pettersson, are being given the option to terminate their contracts.

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So, depending on which Forsberg you are, you were either elated or wanted to put your fist through the wall:

All jokes aside, this summer Emil Pettersson will be one of the hottest free agents on the Swedish Hockey market after a great season for Modo in which he finished second on his team in points with 26 (12 goals and 14 assists) in 52 games. While that might not sound great, his team only won 13 out of its 52 matches so, all things considered, that's one heck of a season.

Based on his quote from Allehanda.se, for Pettersson the move was less about spurning Modo and more about setting himself up as best as possible for his continued future as a professional hockey player. (Translated) "With all due respect to Modo, it's just the wrong time in my career. It's not that I do not want to play in Modo, I love to be in this club and feel very strongly about this association, but sometimes you have to think about your own career. Hopefully I can come back in the future."

As far as his options go, he could either choose to sign for a team in the SHL or sign his entry level contract with Nashville and play in the AHL. Right now Pettersson is making it sound like he will be resigning somewhere in the SHL and he is currently being highly sought after by Max Gortz's old team, the Frolunda Indians.

(Translated) "For my personal development [choosing to move on from Modo] was the best option," said Pettersson. "I'm still aiming to head over to the US one day, and I feel that I have to take the chance in the SHL, now that it things are as they are."

Spending one more season in the SHL has its perks. He would be making more money than in the AHL, he'd be playing in a more competitive league, and he would be able to get more comfortable with his style of play before making the jump to North America and having to adjust again.

Despite this, I would definitely not discount his options in North America, either. If he truly wants to play in the NHL, playing on the North American ice next season could go a long way. Pettersson plays a bit more of a perimeter game and isn't really aggressive so he will need to adjust his style of play accordingly. Would it be better for him to get more comfortable with his own playing style in Sweden or would it be better if he were to adjust his game in the AHL so they don't have to teach an old dog new tricks? That's the main question he has to answer in the coming weeks.

Still, Pettersson is a center prospect that you'd have to imagine the Predators would like to bring in the fold. He has good potential as an offensive third line centerman and he can play in all situations. He's very creative as a playmaker, has great vision, has a decent scoring touch, plays a 200 foot game, and is a strong skater. If he can gain strength (he's currently 6'2" and 176 lbs) and adapt his style of play to the North American ice he could make an impact on the Predators roster in the coming years.