When the Vancouver Canucks season ended in early April, Anders Nilsson shut it down after a tough year, physically and mentally. He took a couple weeks away from the rink and wasn't skating or working out and even planned a vacation to Los Angeles to help him unwind. That's where he was when the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation called to see if he'd be willing to join the team for the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark.
When Elias Pettersson started his rookie season in the Swedish Hockey League last September, he wasn't expecting much. He knew he had a lot of talent and potential, but also knew he was still 18 and would struggle physically at just 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds playing in the men's league.
After a stellar season with the Windsor Spitfires that earned him OHL Goaltender fo the Year honors, Michael DiPietro was at home with his family when the 18-year-old got a call from Warren Rychel, Windsor's general manager.