Marcus Pettersson’s debut for Skellefteå AIK in SHL in December marked the beginning of his professional career. It also meant he carried on the legacy of his father, Daniel Pettersson, who spent 14 years with the club.
-When I was kid I watched dad when he was playing and I learned how things worked. He knows hockey so we have been able to talk about games and the different situations and it has been helpful, says Marcus Pettersson.
During the last couple of months Marcus Pettersson has been regularly featured in Skellefteås defensive line-up in the SHL. Not only is it impressive by the fact that he’s 17 but also because Marcus switched from center to defensemen only two years ago.
His debut in the SHL came on the 10th of December. It was a proud moment, not only to Marcus, but for his family as well, especially his dad Daniel Pettersson.
-I was proud of course. Marcus are much more talented and better educated than I was in my time so it was great to see, says Daniel Pettersson.
-They were happy for me. Dad was at the game but mom was too scared to go. She’s always afraid that I’m going to get hurt when I play but I guess that’s just the way a mom should be, says Marcus.
Both won Tv-pucken
But his debut in Skelleteås A-team was not the first time Marcus followed in his father’s footsteps. In 1984 Daniel won Tv-pucken with the province of Norrbotten. He was the star center and captain and managed to lead the team to victory in the tournament by scoring the game-winning goal over Dalarna in the final.
In 2011 Marcus featured in the same tournament with only difference that he played for Västerbotten. Like his dad he was the star center and captain for the team. And by faith or chance, whichever you choose, Marcus managed to lead the province to victory by scoring the game-winning goal against…that’s right, Dalarna.
As a player Daniel Pettersson was a center with a good vision and playmaking skills. It’s hard, Daniel says, to compare himself to his son as he doesn’t play in the same position anymore but there are some similarities.
-Well I think he sees the ice in the same way I did and he also has a good playmaking skills.
Daniel Pettersson has been by his son’s side ever since he learned how to skate. It wasn’t always a smooth ride and by the time Marcus reached U16 and had to try out for the team, he decided it was time to step aside.
-Even if Marcus wasn’t going to get cut I thought that he needed to hear another voice. And I didn’t have it in me to say to a young player that they weren’t good enough, says Daniel.
-And it was getting more difficult to distinguish between being a coach and father. Sometimes you perhaps have little too high demands on your own son, he continues.
Marcus remembers it as a bit challenging. At the same time his dad wanted to give him advice and tips he was just getting in to his teenage years and was trying to find himself.
-A couple of years ago he came with a lot of tips and advice but back then I was to stubborn and tired to listened. I was in such an age when you’re not listening to their parents. But I told him to ask first if we could talk about the games.
Marcus recently came back from the U18 Five Nations tournament in Russia. He’s been a essential part of the national side for players born in 96 since the beginning and he’s hoping that his performance in Russia as well as in SHL will earn him a spot on the roster for the U18 World Championship in Finland.
-I hope I’ll get the chance to go the U18 World Championship. We won the U17 World Cup last year so we have good chances to win if we can get the group together in a good way, says Marcus.
The U18 WC will be a great place for many of the players to show NHL-scouts what they’re made of and perhaps climb a couple of spots in the draft rankings.
Marcus has steadily been climbing on the ranking and he’s currently ranked as number ten among European skaters. With good finish to the regular season and the playoffs as well as a good U18 World Championship there’s a big chance that he’ll move even further up the ranks.
But weather Marcus gets drafted and becomes a professional hockey player or not doesn’t matter to his father.
-No definitely not. I often ask him if it’s worth spending all that time on hockey. He usually looks at me like I asked a strange question. He should continue as long as he thinks it’s fun and he should dream as well.