Yes, he absolutely can be. Move over Pavel Bure, there may be a new Calder trophy winner in the Vancouver Canucks trophy case.
Past to Present
The Vancouver Canucks were fronted by the twin-headed snake of Henrik and Daniel Sedin for 17 seasons. With their well-deserved retirement, the face(s) of the franchise was in considerable doubt. Brock Boeser seemed to be the answer in his stellar first season with the club. Boeser had 55 points with 29 goals and 26 assists in his first 62 NHL games. But that number will be crushed by this season’s end by newcomer and Calder trophy hopeful, Elias Pettersson.
Petterson, if healthy, is on pace to finish this season with 40.8 goals and 39 assists in 71 games. This would beat the previous record held by aforementioned Bure, (34 goals and 26 assists in 1991-92), and Ivan Hilinka, (23 goals and 37assists in 1981-82) for most points in a rookie season.
As I mentioned before the Sedins were the face of the Vancouver Canucks for so long and now that they are gone, who will take the reins? Why not a three-headed monster, in Boeser, Petterson, and even Bo Horvat? Each of these players bring something special to the team and are leading the team in almost every category. They lead in shots on net to points and even advanced statistics like Fenwick and PDO ratings. Petterson has a stifling 104.0 PDO, which accounts for shooting percentage and the goalies save percentage. Horvat, who is right behind Petterson in points this season with 41 in 51 games, is leading the team in shots with 149. And Boeser is leading the team with 13.3 percent on ice shooting percentage. Not to mention, each of these three are under the age of 23-years-old.
Oh, I almost forgot that Petterson is an All-Star and will be playing for the Pacific division this upcoming weekend. If you remember from last season, Vancouver rookies do pretty well at all-star weekend. All eyes will be on number 40.
Moving Forward to the rest of the season
Elias Pettersson can be the greatest Canuck rookie in their history, but there are still 31 games left in the season. A lot can happen and there is room for almost every possibility. We will all just have to wait and see if the 20-year-old has what it takes to reach his potential for the rest of the season.
Can he hit the 40 goal mark? Could he help lead the Canucks to their first 40 win season since 2014-15? And ultimately can he become the second Vancouver Canuck in the franchise’s history to win the Calder trophy?
stats from hockey-reference.com and NHL.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals