Another day closer to the Canucks season and another day closer to seeing their prized prospect participate in an NHL game. My excitement is starting to boil over and I can’t turn down the stovetop burner below 11. I’m going to explore into Pettersson’s season and why I think his rookie year will outproduce Daniel Sedin’s swan song.
Elias Pettersson has landed in Vancouver. Let the articles pour in. I’m going to take a stab at one myself and something that has been one my mind lately is if Pettersson can do better than what Daniel Sedin did in his final season. It’s a lofty goal for the young Pettersson and I think if the right opportunity is presented, it is more than attainable.
In his last season Daniel had 23 goals and 32 assists for 55 points in 81 games.
The hardest thing for Pettersson to copy there may be the games played. We see rookies that can accomplish the full 82 game season but any NHLer would be ecstatic if you said you could play all 82 without any sort of illness, family matter or nagging injury that would keep you out for at least one game.
Daniel can confirm about the one game.
Pettersson has been deemed by many to be a Calder Trophy candidate as he embarks on his rookie campaign and for what it’s worth I don’t disagree. If he is given powerplay opportunity and can catch an ounce of chemistry with some linemates, it would not surprise me to see 60 or more points.
That’s where it brings me to Daniel. As I mentioned, he tallied 55 points and that number should be a goal for Pettersson. Speaking of goals, if Pettersson can match Daniel in that category I will be very impressed. Five rookies were able to score 23 or more goals last season, so I’m saying there’s a chance!
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Elias Pettersson will get first unit powerplay time, whether that be at the beginning of the season or not. He will be there and I’m confident that coach Travis Green will see his skillset in preseason and place him directly on the first unit at the beginning of the season.
Daniel Sedin had nine powerplay goals and 14 assists. I am confident this is where Pettersson can be more productive. Pettersson’s likely position on the powerplay will be the right point/wing. A spot where he can feed a one timer to Brock Boeser and can fire a shot at the net with big Bo Horvat patrolling the crease.
Daniel was used mostly in a half wall, a down low passer who had an opportunity for the shot if his brother Henrik was able to thread the needle on a silky pass. Daniel did walk out a few times for a nice snipe from the high slot and I think Pettersson can do it better at his young age.
Daniel Sedin averaged 15:16 of ice time last season, Pettersson belongs somewhere in the 15-17 minutes range. Daniel had a very high percentage of offensive zone starts, 79.6% to be exact and I predict Pettersson will be somewhere in the 65-75% range. That number is possible with the addition of players like Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel to go along with Brandon Sutter. Those three amigos’ separate lines should be out on the ice for every single defensive zone start whenever it is possible for a line change.
If he is able to stay healthy for 75 or more games, my early prediction for Pettersson is 20 goals and 41 assists. I think we will see him start at centre with this team and will stay a centre for the entirety of his career. If sheltered in the defensive zone, he will get some much needed time to develop into a 200-foot player, something the Oilers couldn’t do to any high draft pick for years. Well, until one was gift-wrapped to them in the 2015 draft.
A big question that is still unanswered is who Pettersson’s linemates will be. There are many wingers on this team who would love to play alongside the kid. I think that the best fit is Loui Eriksson with a toss up between Brendan Leipsic and Sam Gagner. Two players with some skill and one with a ton of promise after what we saw Leipsic do to conclude last season and who knows, maybe Gagner has another eight point game in his career and Pettersson will be the one to bring it out.
Maybe seven points…
There’s a lot of hope coming from me here but I’ve seen a lot of what this kid can do. I believe in Elias Pettersson and I think his game can transfer to the NHL game with a bit of an adjustment. He has a while to go to become an NHL star. I know it’s a long road, but who wants to walk with Elias?
We haven’t seen him play a game against NHL players yet and many scouts believe he has to get bigger. I don’t disagree that some size would benefit him, but his game will translate easily to the best league in the world and I think Canucks fans’ high expectations won’t only be reached but could even be exceeded.
Let’s see what the kid can do and where he fits with this team, but 55 points seems attainable right? I think its a great goal to shoot for and the night he exceeds Daniel’s final season point total we as Canucks fans are officially playing with house money.
Let me know if you think 55 points is feasible for the kid and do you think he will have more powerplay points than Daniel? (23 points)