Elias Pettersson is well on his way to becoming a regular in the Vancouver Canucks lineup sooner rather than later, but for now, the 19-year-old is busy tearing apart Sweden’s top league.
Despite missing two-plus weeks to earn a World Junior silver medal with Sweden this past Christmas, Vancouver’s No. 5 overall selection last June sits second in the SHL in scoring. With a pair of points Thursday night, Pettersson moved past legend Peter Forsberg as the second-highest scoring teenager in SHL history.
The Hall Of Famer posted 48 points in 1992-93.
20 goals, 30, assist, 50 points in 40 SHL games.
Elias Pettersson passed Peter Forsberg tonight and trails only Kent Nilsson (54 points in 75/76) among junior players in SHL history. #Canucks
— Uffe Bodin (@UffeBodin) March 1, 2018
With 20 goals and 50 points in just 40 games for Vaxjo HC, Pettersson is scoring at a 1.25 points-per-game clip and is now just four points away — with four games left in the season — from breaking Kent Nilsson’s 42-year-old SHL record for points by a U20 player.
Elias Pettersson loads up the shot and just snipes it.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 1, 2018
Dobber Prospects currently ranks Pettersson as the Canucks top prospect, and the SHL rookie’s torrid pace of production this season has lifted his stock into can’t-miss territory. The kid is on the path to becoming an NHL star some day, the only questions seems to be when.
“This tremendous season has not gone unnoticed … as Pettersson is now-viewed as an absolute blue-chipper. There will be growing pains, but the lanky forward offers the full offensive package with tremendous vision and a release that will have teams scratching their heads over who to load up on, Boeser or Pettersson, on the Canucks’ top power play in the near future,” DP’s Cam Robinson recently wrote.
There’s no indication yet as to when the Canucks plan to bring Pettersson into the mix, but most signs point to the Swedish star being ready to battle for a roster spot – and maybe even a role in the team’s top-six – as soon as next season.