The Vancouver Canucks got as good a glimpse of the future as they have all year with Elias Pettersson stacking up two goals and three assists in a wild performance against the Colorado Avalanche Friday night.
It was a wild affair for both teams and the 7-6 final score was indicative of how spongy the goaltending was on one night in Vancouver.
But it was also suggestive of how special a player Pettersson is and will be for the Canucks, even if the team game wasn’t as sharp as it could’ve been.
“I don’t know, what was the score, 7-6?” Pettersson said. “If we score six goals a game, we should be able to win full-time.”
And that’s certainly true. It also reveals what kind of player Pettersson is: overtime and having to get there was vexing, even if the Canucks’ Derek Pouliot finally put the game away with less than 30 seconds to go in the extra frame.
“I’ve been in some wild games in junior, and Danny and Hank’s (the Sedins) last game here was pretty wild, but that one is definitely up there,” Bo Horvat said. “For us to come back and score with 30 seconds left just shows how poised we are. We don’t panic and just keep our foot on the gas. I think resiliency is a great word for our group.”
The Swedish teenager at the centre of all this was playing as solid a team game as possible, setting up Brock Boeser for some sweet goals – including a beautiful bounce pass that landed just right where it was supposed to.
“I can’t help but smile after that pass off the boards on my second goal,” Boeser said. “He’s a special kid; no one thinks of that play except him and the Sedins. He’s a mini Pavel Datsyuk. He’s amazing.”
Amazing is certainly the word for it.
Pettersson sits with nine goals and a total of 15 points in nine games. He leads all rookies in goals, with Ottawa’s Maxime Lajoie second with four goals in a dozen. And to think, Pettersson’s missed six games with a concussion.
Now, he’s just the 16th player in NHL history to score nine goals in his first nine games and the sixth outside of the inaugural season. His five-point performance against Colorado are the most by any Canucks rookie in a regular season game, with Boeser coming in second with a four-point night against Chicago in December of 2017. He’s also the youngest player in team history with at least five points in a regular season game.
The Canucks are, believe it or not, atop the Pacific Division with a 9-6-0 record for 18 points. And if the play of Pettersson, Boeser and Horvat keeps up, the future in Vancouver may not be something we have to wait very long to see.