Elias Pettersson was enjoying a productive sophomore season for the Vancouver Canucks. He’ll be even better when hockey returns.
After posting 28 goals and 66 points in his rookie 2018-19 season (he went on to win the Calder Trophy), Pettersson followed it up with 27 goals and 66 points in 68 games here in 2019-20. He was easily going to cross the 30-goal and 70-point marks, all while keeping Vancouver in a tight postseason race.
Pettersson trailed only offseason acquisition J.T. Miller for the team lead in points (72). But of course, Miller was enjoying a career year thanks in large part to the help from “Petey.” We’re not saying that Pettersson is on the same level as Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid here, but the impact he has on his wingers cannot be ignored.
Before Miller joined the Canucks, his best season was 2017-18, when he had 23 goals and 58 points. Petterson, in only his sophomore season, has turned the veteran winger into a borderline star.
Pettersson is only going to get better from here as he gains more experience while enhancing his skills. He had an excellent 55.7 Corsi For percentage on the 2019-20 season, and his shooting percentage (16.7) was below his rookie season shooting percentage of19.4.
Those numbers suggest that Pettersson actually should have more goals and points. He’s nearly a point per game player this early in his career, and we still haven’t seen the best of Pettersson yet.
The 21-year-old produced one of the most impressive rookie seasons in recent memory with Brock Boeser as his lone reliable linemate. Adding Miller to complete the “big three” was a savvy move by general manager Jim Benning.
With Boeser and Miller at Pettersson’s side, the Canucks are maximizing his full potential. And that will go a long way towards building a championship contending team.
Whether or not the 2019-20 season continues remains to be seen. But this Vancouver team took major strides up until the season pause, and with Pettersson set to take off even more next year, the future is looking brighter and brighter for the Canucks by the day.