3 Canucks who could be locks for prestigious NHL awards

The Vancouver Canucks have been arguably the NHL’s most entertaining team, both in the number of points accumulated and their fun style of play.

Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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Elias Pettersson has to be a shoo-in to take the Selke

I went back and forth on this one between J.T. Miller and Elias Petersson, but the latter’s defensive game edges the former. Sure, Miller is a big hitter who can get in front of shots and lay huge hits. Without a doubt, he will garner top-15 consideration for the award, but when you compare the two, Petersson wins out. 

The 25-year-old has logged triple-digits in hits, and he’s also on pace to log 50-plus takeaways. Once again, Pettersson is getting in front of pucks, with 59 blocks this season as of March 22nd, and his presence while short-handed has been epic for the Canucks. 

Pettersson’s presence hasn’t led to 10 short-handed goals, as was the case last season. But out of 100 minutes on the penalty kill, Vancouver has allowed just seven goals, and his on-ice save percentage at 4-on-5 is a stellar 91.9 percent. Compare that to Miller, who has seen 16 goals scored when he’s on the ice in the same situation, with just an 81.8 on-ice save percentage. 

Petersson is lower than Miller in defensive point shares, with 1.8 compared to Miller’s 2.3, but other than that, Pettersson holds the edge. He took seventh for the award last season, and he’s made the necessary improvements both on the ice and from a statistical standpoint to take the award this season.