Photo Credit: Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

Elias Pettersson wins a bunch of awards in the SHL

The organization’s top prospect, Elias Pettersson, was showered with awards yesterday.

Throughout the morning, the SHL was announcing their winners from this past season and Elias Pettersson ended up as the SHL Rookie of the Year, SHL Top Forward, and the SHL MVP.

The Rookie of the Year and Top Forward awards were not surprising at all. Pettersson ended the year as the top scorer despite playing the fewest amount of games among the top 20 scorers. He ended the year with the second most goals despite taking the first few games to get his first one.

The SHL MVP award was also not a surprise as he was the best player on the ice and was a huge part of why Vaxjo finished first in the regular season by a fairly healthy margin. In fact, Pettersson not winning the Guldhjalmen is the bigger surprise. Back in late March, the player voted MVP award was given to Joakim Lindstrom from Skelleftea despite Lindstrom only having the edge in assists on Pettersson. The Guldhjalmen is generally viewed as the more prestigious award and many pundits were surprised to see it going to someone other than Pettersson.

That shouldn’t take away from the season that Pettersson had. Here is the list of accolades that the Canucks prospect accomplished this year:

  • Most regular season points by a U20 player in SHL history
  • Led SHL in regular season scoring
  • Most playoff points by a U20 player in SHL history (single season)
  • Led SHL in playoff scoring
  • Stefan Liv Memorial Trophy Winner (Playoff MVP)
  • SHL Top Forward
  • SHL Rookie of the Year
  • SHL Champion
  • U20 WJHC Silver Medal
  • Most goals and point by a junior player

Quite the list.

My biggest takeaway from Pettersson this season is just how smart the kid is on the ice. His anticipation and ability to thread passes are the things that stand out but everything he does on the ice exudes thinking the game at a different level. In board engagements, he angles his body to place the weight on the opponent rather than himself. On the powerplay, he was regularly pointing and yelling at his teammates to make plays that didn’t even include him or would take a look at the clock before he gets the puck to know how much time he has before the penalty or period ends. It’s the small and minute plays that really begin to stand out.

Lastly, his shot wasn’t something that stood out when the season began but he just started beating goalies cleanly. The improvement there gives the Sundsvall native a full offensive toolbox that will allow to produce points in a variety of ways.

Canucks fans are obviously excited to see what the former 5th overall pick will be able to do over here in North America. Patience will be needed but there is so much to like about Pettersson’s game that it’s easy to see the Swedish MVP in the starting lineup for the Canucks next season. He may be slight but makes up for it in every other facet of his game.

    • My god that frame scares me… getting Mason Raymond flash backs of how easily he got beat off the puck ffs guys would use one hand on him and he would get knocked off the puck!

      Strength training program this summer should be top priority for this kid! Creatine and TEST, Deadlifts/Squats/BP every other day hell add 10 pounds of muscle in no time! The potential is really something once he gets stronger hes going to be a phenomenal athlete 🙂

  • Really disappointed the Sedins won’t be on the ice next year to help Pettersson (and Dahlen) adjust to North America (but hopefully they’ll be around the organization to give them some guidance off the ice).

    Really excited to see what these kids can do in the NHL next year, though.

        • I’ve been thinking the same thing. We may have gotten the 1st overall with our 5th. That leads me to Boeser…drafted 23rd in an amazing draft year, with what we know now, would have been easily drafted in the top 10, and maybe even top 5.
          Benning has done well.

  • OK this if off topic, but I figured out why Vegas is so unexpectedly good…and it’s because everyone on the team is playing with a chip on their shoulder. Being the best player not protected by their previous team, each an every one of them has something to prove. Remember when Steve Nash was traded to Phoenix…he instantly went from a very good player, to a super star, simply because he felt disrespected by the Mavs and was hell bent on proving their mistake. Same thing is true with Taylor Hall.

    • Having the opportunity to cherry pick top 4 defensemen didn’t hurt. Getting to pick a top goalie was even better. Vegas was given opportunities no other expansion team in history was given. Bettman and the owners let Vegas buy a contender. They didn’t have to draft or develop players. Every player they have is a proven NHLer. Teams had to protect players with NMC. Seattle will do the same thing.

      • This is some hilarious retconning. Other than James Neal and Jonathan Marchesseault, none of their forwards or defensemen where playing among the top 6 forwards or top 4 defense before they came to Vegas. Vegas’s defense still looks crazy thin on paper but clearly they’ve been getting it done by committee.

        Vegas was given a better chance than other expansion teams, yes, but almost everyone had them pegged as a lottery team coming into the year and they’ve managed to blow expectations out of the water. The idea that Bettman let them “buy a contender” is just laughably stupid.

        • Totally agree with you. It’s the same like of thinking of the “lottery conspiracy” morons.
          Vegas wins because they play hard, stick to their system and were very creative in taking advantage of fringe or underrated players.

          I hope they go the whole way. Win the whole damn thing. It’s an absolutely awesome story and I don’t begrudge them one bit.

          • Forget this year, if McPhee stops giving up Leipsic for Holm or fritter away draft picks they will just get younger and potentially better.

            Insane panic by GM’s let them stack both this team better than expected and their draft pool. Seattle will be decent, but nobody is giving away the farm to protect one middle 6 forward or number 4 defenseman again. Vegas got in while the getting was good, mark my words, the Seattle GM has his work cut out for him to match that nearly league-wide fleecing.

            I almost feel bad they only had Sbisa or Gaunce to choose from our team, but credit Benning for moving Hansen and Burrows. I’ve beat this drum once or twice before, but how about adding that to the positive side for this management team? While apparently there was no way to trade 30 goal Marchessault but we scoop Dahlen and Goldy? Other teams gift-wrap picks and players to also give up a specific player? There’s an unwritten CA article here about all those deals with Vegas that could throw a little praise JB’s way, the stats on this one don’t lie.

  • I really hope we get a good centre to put between Dahlen and Petterson. A smart vet that can help these young guys adjust to the NHL and help the coach. We lost two vets in Danial and Henrik. Im hoping Stastny as the Jets might have cap space problems. Unless somebody has something better in mind of course. Maybe Backstrom if the Capitals lose to pittsburgh again ha ha!!