According to reports, the Vancouver Canucks are expected to sign Elias Pettersson as soon as the 2018 World Championship tournament wraps up in Denmark.
Pettersson was drafted fifth overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and has been lighting it up in the Swedish Hockey league. He was named the most valuable player, rookie of the year, forward of the year, and playoff MVP after winning it all for the Växjö Lakers Hockey Club.
Pettersson also skated for Sweden at the World Championship, which is where he fractured his thumb.
The 19-year-old had a goal and two assists at the tournament.
There is no real concern about his thumb injury, with about three to four weeks of expected recovery time slated after surgery.
With the Canucks expected to sign Pettersson, that means he’ll be set for training camp.
“I want to play in the NHL as quick as possible, but I want to be ready to be a good player there,” Pettersson said. “I don’t want to just make it to the NHL and play in a couple games. I want to be a player that makes an impact and helps my team win every night. Is that this year? I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Pettersson had 56 points in 44 games for Växjö this season and set a scoring record for a junior-aged player in the Swedish league. He added 19 points in 13 post-season games.
The Canucks are hanging an awful lot on getting Pettersson good and ready for the club. With the post-Sedin era now in full swing in Vancouver, attention has turned to the next Swedish player in the pipeline and the pressure must be immense.
True to form for local media, a report out of Sweden that quoted Lakers general manager Henrik Evertsson as not wanting to see a player the calibre of Pettersson just waltz out the door became an issue of significant concern. Suddenly, it appeared that there may be some delay in signing Pettersson.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case at all and the Canucks will get their man, all 165 pounds of him.
Pettersson is an agile player and he has no issues in terms of productivity. He’s touted as a complete player by most scouting reports and brings plenty of intellect and acumen to the game.