There is good news for the Vancouver Canucks as Elias Pettersson is back skating with his teammates.
This is the first time he joined the Canucks on the ice since suffering a concussion on October 13. He was injured when he was thrown to the ice by Florida Panthers defenceman Mike Matheson. Matheson was suspended two games for the play.
Pettersson, meanwhile, was put on concussion protocol with no timetable for his return.
The 19-year-old had a light skate Saturday morning, but Monday was a big day.
“[Pettersson’s] still on the concussion protocol, skating with the team,” head coach Travis Green said after practice. “[He’s] coming along fine.”
The plan now is for Pettersson to travel with the team on the upcoming road trip, which will commence with a game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. The Canucks play the Washington Capitals Monday.
Green says Pettersson will need to participate in a couple of full team practices prior to returning to the lineup, so that does mean he could be back by Wednesday if all goes well.
Vancouver has done okay without the rookie sensation in the fold, but he still leads the team in scoring with eight points in five games. He leads all NHL first-years in scoring, too.
Ahead of Monday’s action against the Capitals, the Canucks are third in the Pacific Division with a 5-3-0 record. They’ve scored 25 goals and allowed 24 against, sneaking out road trip wins against the Penguins and Bruins along the way.
Pettersson has been a massive bright spot for a team with lowered expectations this season. Having him back in the lineup means a return to form for Vancouver, a hockey club desperately waiting for the next big thing on the ice in the post-Sedin era.