Canucks: Elias Pettersson could lead a big awards haul

For a team that may just sneak into the playoffs, the Vancouver Canucks could have a large presence at the NHL Awards ceremony come season’s end.

The Vancouver Canucks could see numerous players and executives receive nominations for awards. It is a near guarantee that Quinn Hughes will be nominated for the Calder Trophy, while Jacob Markstrom could be up for the Vezina.

General manager Jim Benning (Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award) and head coach Travis Green (Jack Adams Award) could be nominated as well: Benning for pulling the trade for J.T Miller back in the offseason, and Green for getting the best out of the 26-year-old — as well as his work in reinvigorating Loui Eriksson.

Although those accolades are ones to get excited about, there is one more that could also find its way into the hands of a Canuck. 2019 Calder Trophy winner, Elias Petterson, could be nominated for two awards, but not on-ice ones.

The young Swede has become the focus of the organization, and aside from his skill, Pettersson has become known for his personality. The 21-year-old put on another example of stardom in St. Louis at the NHL All-Star weekend.

He competed in the hardest shot competition, blasting the puck at 102.4 MPH. While he did not win the hardest shot, Pettersson was awarded $10,000 to a charity of his for breaking the 100 MPH benchmark on both attempts.

What he did next, was something that could win him a trophy, but we all know that that is not the reason he did it.

Petterson announced that he would be donating the money to two separate charities that support Parkinson’s Disease, the illness which Brock Boeser’s father Duke has been suffering from.

Following the blistering shots, Petterson announced his decision on live TV, something which threw off Boeser, who was at home watching the game with his father.

Although it could have been taken by surprise at the time, the donation is just the latest thing that Petterson has done to help his community. He happily attends the hockey club’s many charitable initiatives.

One of the things that stands out and displays his personality was Pettersson’s shout-out to beloved Vancouver sports writer Jason Botchford, following his untimely death before last year’s NHL Awards ceremony.

His past, combined with his play on the ice and leadership in the locker room is something that could lead him to an NHL award. The two trophies which could honour these off-ice accolades are the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which was won by the Sedin twins in their last season, as well as the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

As for which one could be more tangible for the Vancouver forward, its a tough decision to call. He has enjoyed an another incredible season, feverishly avoiding the infamous “sophomore slump” while continuing to perform as the club’s most important player.

If Pettersson were not an elite player and leader, the King Clancy could be more likely, but the fact that he is so good on the ice could attribute to his case for the Messier Leadership Award.

Whichever trophy it could be, the Messier Award would certainly carry some politics behind it in Vancouver’s hockey market. With Petterson in the running for either of these, Hughes holding onto a chance for the Calder and the management team making their case, the Canucks could earn a surprising amount of attention at the Awards ceremony.