Pettersson is having the best start by a Canucks rookie EVER

Oct 30 2018, 5:00 pm

The best season ever recorded by a Vancouver Canucks rookie was Pavel Bure in 1991-92. Scoring 34 goals and 60 points in 65 games, it was an electrifying beginning to a Hall of Fame career.

But the Russian Rocket didn’t have a start like the one Elias Pettersson is having. Not even close.

It’s a small sample size, sure, but Pettersson is doing things we’ve never seen before from a Canucks rookie in his first seven games.

The 19-year-old was spectacular again on Monday night.

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Following the first game of his career where he didn’t register a point, Pettersson scored two highlight-reel goals in Vancouver’s 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

The first goal came on a wicked one-timer in the second period to give the Canucks a 3-1 lead. Watch as Pettersson drops to one knee to find the perfect shooting angle on a pass from Michael Del Zotto.

His second goal was even better, as he was sprung on a breakaway after blocking a point shot. Pettersson’s blazing speed coupled with a quick, accurate, and deceptive release on his shot meant that Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk didn’t have a chance.

The young Swede now has seven goals and 10 points through his first seven games. That’s the most points any Canucks rookie has ever had to start a career.

Bure, who won Rookie of the Year in 1992, had three goals and four points in his first seven games. Calder Trophy finalists Brock Boeser (three goals and four points in 2017) and Trevor Linden (one goal and three points in 1988) didn’t come close to this either.

Pettersson is just the eighth player in the NHL’s modern era to score at least this many goals in his first seven games.

It’s a little early to project how many points he’ll get by the end of the season, but aww hell, let’s do it anyway. Pettersson is on pace for 76 goals, 33 assists, and 109 points in 76 games.

Not only would that smash Canucks rookie records, that would be the most goals and third-highest point total by anyone in franchise history.

Only Greg Adams (1987) and Alex Mogilny (1995) have ever had a quicker start to a Canucks career, though neither one of those players were rookies when they came to Vancouver – never mind being a teenager. Adams went on to score 36 goals and 76 points in 1987-88, while Mogilny had 55 goals and 107 points in his first season in Vancouver.

With one game left this month, Pettersson has a shot to break the Canucks rookie record for most points in the month of October – and in fewer games than the rest of the leaders.

Year Name Games Goals Assists Points
1989 Igor Larionov 12 7 5 12
1999 Peter Schaefer 13 6 6 12
1978 Thomas Gradin 10 5 6 11
2018 Elias Pettersson 7 7 3 10
2017 Brock Boeser 8 2 7 9
1978 Stan Smyl 10 2 7 9
2000 Daniel Sedin 11 3 6 9
1999 Steve Kariya 13 5 4 9
1978 Curt Fraser 9 5 3 8
1975 Rick Blight 11 4 4 8
2000 Henrik Sedin 11 4 4 8
1988 Trevor Linden 12 4 4 8
1980 Lars Molin 11 3 5 8
1989 Vladimir Krutov 8 3 4 7
1980 Ivan Hlinka 11 1 6 7
1971 Jocelyn Guevremont 12 4 3 7

Like Bure, Pettersson is a player that brings fans out of their seats whenever he gets space with the puck. His speed, shooting, stickhandling, and playmaking skills are already at an elite level.

As with most rookie centres, faceoffs were expected to be a problem for the youngster, but he’s held his own. Pettersson has won 30 of 65 draws, ranking ahead of veteran Jay Beagle and behind only Bo Horvat and Brandon Sutter.

Defensively, he’s been fine as well and he’s only going to get better.

Imagine what he’ll be capable of as he matures and builds more muscle mass.

It’s been just seven games, and there’s lots of work left to be done, but it’s impossible not to be excited about Pettersson’s future. Because as long as he can stay healthy, it looks like the Canucks have a superstar in the making.

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