Call it the Elias Pettersson effect.
With a dash of Nils Hoglander, and a pinch of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, to boot.
The sum of those parts has the Vancouver Canucks as the most Googled NHL franchise in Sweden, according to a report by sports betting outlet SportsHandle.
SportsHandle released the numbers on the most-searched NHL teams by country, according to Google, showing which franchises are tops in different regions around the world.
They used Google Keyword Planner to search volume for NHL teams across the globe, and compiled figures using the average monthly search for the last 12 months. SportsHandle noted they were unable to find search volume for the Montreal Canadiens.
SportsHandle attributed Vancouver’s popularity in large part to Pettersson, the No. 5 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft who has amassed 177 points (76 goals, 101 assists) through his first three-and-a-half seasons in Canucks silks.
The offseason acquisition of Ekman-Larsson might’ve replaced some of the searches lost when Swedish netminder Jacob Markstrom signed with the Calgary Flames a year and a half ago. Vancouver picked up Ekman-Larsson in a swap with the Arizona Coyotes that saw fellow Swede Loui Eriksson head to the desert.
Hoglander would’ve played a factor, too. He had 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) as a rookie with Vancouver last season, and has netted 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in 45 games this season.
Vancouver hasn’t been shy to add young Swedes to the organization of late, either. The Canucks plucked Jonathan Myrenberg, who plays with Linkoping in Sweden, in the third round of the 2021 NHL Draft. They added two more Swedes, Hugo Gabrielson in the sixth round and Lucas Forsell in the seventh, in 2021 as well.
They also have Viktor Persson, a seventh-round pick in 2020, and Arvid Costmar, another seventh-round pick in 2019.
It’s not just Sweden where Vancouver is trending, either.
No other NHL team nets more Google searches in China than the Canucks, too.
Vancouver’s efforts to celebrate the Lunar New Year might’ve factored in on that front. The team celebrates each season with a commemorative warm-up jersey to celebrate their annual Lunar New Year Game.
The Canucks also travelled to in Shanghai and Beijing to participate in the NHL China Games against the Los Angeles Kings in 2017, adding to their connection.
You can mix in Morocco to the list, too.
No other team is punched into the search engine within that country’s borders more than the Canucks.