The Vancouver Canucks may still be in a rebuilding mode, but there is one major block that is coming over to boost the roster up front and create great opportunities for the Canadian team for the upcoming season.
Top prospect Elias Pettersson is expected to sign with the Canucks following the conclusion of the 2018 World Championship tournament in Denmark, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.
Pettersson was drafted in the first round, fifth overall by the Canucks in the National Hockey League Entry Draft just last summer. The young forward went on to dominate for his Swedish club Vaxjo during the 2017-18 campaign, and the Canucks had been taking notes for sure.
And Canucks fans should be too: the 19-year-old broke the scoring record for a junior-aged player in the SHL, before claiming the regular season scoring title with 56 points (24 goals and 32 assists) through 44 games. He was also named league Most Valuable Player, forward of the year and rookie of the year before leading his club to a league championship and adding playoff MVP honours to his already impressive season.
There was a recent bump in the road during the World Hockey Championship, where the young Swedish forward suffered a broken thumb on Sunday, ending his 2018 World Championship bid.
While Canucks fans may worry hearing that Pettersson suffered an injury - let's not get too anxious. It has been revealed that the injury is expected to keep him sidelined for three to four weeks. It is believed that the ailment should be healed by the time the Canucks’ 2018-19 training camp gets started and Pettersson can show off why he was a good pick for Vancouver.
The Canucks have been looking for a way to fill the void left by superstars Henrik and Daniel Sedin, who chose retirement at the beginning of April, when the regular season calendar came to an end.
It seems like the Canucks and general manager Jim Benning will bet on young players to push forward the rebuilding process in Vancouver. Rookie sensation Brock Boeser has already proven he can be counted on and can lead the team to a better outcome than the ones that have been accomplished in Vancouver in the past few years.