Vancouver Canucks: Elias Pettersson isn’t worried about his weight

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 02: Elias Pettersson
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 02: Elias Pettersson /

One of the early knocks against Elias Pettersson when he was drafted was is lack of muscle and weight. But the Vancouver Canucks’ prized prospect said that he’s stronger and isn’t worried about his weight.

The 2018-19 season figures to be another year of losing for the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks, but 2017 first round pick Elias Pettersson should bring plenty of energy and excitement, and perhaps a Calder Trophy.

Of course, there were concerns about his weight and lack of muscle after being drafted. Listed by at 6-foot-2 and 161 pounds, Pettersson made it clear to Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News that he needed to hit the gym hard and add more weight before he turned professional.

In an interview with Rick Dhaliwal of Sportsnet 650, Pettersson said that he’s stronger this year, but that he isn’t worried about his weight and build heading into his rookie season.

The man does have a point. He did dominate for the Växjö Lakers of the SHL, playing in a league with older and bigger players. All Pettersson did was capture the SHL Rookie of the Year, Forward of the Year and league MVP awards. On top of that, he won the playoff MVP award and guided the Lakers to the Le Mat Trophy (the league championship).

The NHL is a much different league, of course. But Pettersson showed last season that his style of play truly doesn’t require him to carry big weight. Look at other NHL stars like Johnny Gaudreau (5-foot-9, 157 pounds), and Patrick Kane (5-foot-11, 177 pounds). You don’t need to weigh a bunch to succeed in the NHL.

If the Canucks weren’t happy with Pettersson’s lack of muscles, they wouldn’t be turning him professional this season. He’s a big-time playmaker who dazzles with his speed and all-around skills.

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We’re less than a month away from seeing Pettersson make his NHL debut. Canuck fans have been through enough misery as is, so they can only hope that Pettersson’s rookie season can offer a glimpse of a future that’s looking extremely promising.