EP, Dekey Pete, the Alien, whatever you prefer to call him, Elias Pettersson has had a phenomenal start to his NHL career. With seven points in his first four games, Pettersson is outpacing some rather notable Swedish names to start his career.
Source: Sportsnet Broadcast
It would be pretty greedy to expect this rate of production to continue throughout the season, but Pettersson has already demonstrated that he can produce at the NHL level. So the question becomes, how many points will he manage by the end of the regular season?
With that in mind, I came up with what I think is a reasonable over-under for Pettersson’s goals and points at the end of the season: 25 goals, 60 points. That’s no small feat, and would put him among rookie leaders in most years. I’ve posed this question to the CanucksArmy staff, and their answers will make up the 2018-19 NHL season’s first Roundtable of the year. Let’s see where they’d be placing their money.
I will take the over… if only by a little. I’ve had 23 goals and 38 assists rattling around in my head, giving him 61 points on the season. I feel like he should be able to pick up his share of points with the man advantage this season. I don’t expect him to keep up with his ridiculous early pace, and I don’t want to put “too high” of expectations on him either, but he isn’t looking out of place at this level so far. I’d be thrilled to see him put up 20+30 this year, so anything more than that would be gravy, in my eyes.
I will take the over. Pettersson already had six points in his first three games, which is 1/10th of the way to 60. I don’t expect him to keep up such a ridiculous pace, but his hot start means that he can survive a slump or two and still put up some impressive totals. Obviously, a major injury would result in lesser numbers, but that is impossible to predict. If healthy all season, I have Pettersson at around 30 goals and 70 points.
I’ll take the under if only for the reason that I don’t want to be disappointed with a 50-point rookie season.
60 points would have placed Pettersson firmly among the league’s top line players last year, and even though he only needs another 53 over the next 78 games I’m not prepared to bet on him eclipsing that total. For him to do so, he’d not only have to keep up a .7 point per game pace over the rest of the season, but he’d have to get the minutes do so and avoid injury. A lot of things would have to go right this season, and the cynic in me is conditioned to think something will probably go wrong at some point.
I’m happy to be wrong on this one. I’d much rather set expectations lower than they ought to be and be pleasantly surprised than set them high and damper the hype on what’s sure to be an impressive season regardless of how many points he puts up.
First of all, have we moved on from Boeser already? Just kidding. I will take the over on goals and I predict 28. He has a good shot but there has to be a point where he slows down a bit. His assists will more than makeup for that and points I’m taking the under at 59 points. As this team moves forward, there’s a chance Brock gets put on his line and he can pump Boeser for a few goals. Nikolay Goldobin is also going to be the benefactor of a handful as well. To recap: over on goals, under on points and just right where we want him… in a Canucks jersey.
I’m going to take the over on this one.
It’s not that I would be disappointed if he didn’t hit 60 points, but Pettersson has a rare combination of offensive talents that tell me he can perform at a high level. 7 points in 4 games won’t be sustainable, but only needing 53 points in 78 is something that is clearly in his reach. His ability on the power-play, coupled with the fact it seems he’s getting the most out of Nikolay Goldobin and will be receiving more offensive zone starts this year as he develops, leads me to the thinking Pettersson will put up at least 30 goals and over 60 points on the year.
So far, Pettersson’s been proving me wrong. I watched him a lot in Swedish league and national team play last season and couldn’t help but notice he often disappeared at five on five, and that’s been a concern for me. I never had a doubt he’d be a star player in Vancouver eventually, he just didn’t have me convinced he could be one right out of the gate. That said, his tendency to disappear sometimes is still there and I thought the Tampa game was a perfect example of that. The thing is, though, that even in a “bad” game where he’s barely noticeable, he’ll still have at least two or three flashy plays that make you think “wow, this kid is legit.”
So, to answer the question, I’m still sure there will be stretches where he disappears and his three outstanding plays a night won’t get him on the score sheet and he’ll have some scoring droughts through an 82-game season. However, he’ll also be leaned on as one of the Canucks’ go-to guys, and he’ll have some multi-point nights as well. I’m expecting a bit of an up-and-down season with mostly ups and, if everything goes right, he’ll exceed 60 points, whether that’s with 25 goals or fewer.
I know I’m usually the type to advocate for reasonable expectations (like that responsible Jackson McDonald did above), but there are three important factors to consider here:
- I am still a fan and subject to occasional unreasonable bouts of optimism;
- I have been a Pettersson super fan since his draft year; and
- I like to live dangerously.
With that, I’m taking the over, on both goals and points. Not only is Pettersson clearly the most talented player on the Canucks roster already, he’s also going to get a boatload of opportunity. It only took Travis Green a couple of games to completely release the reins on this kid (once it became apparent that Pettersson is also dynamite defensively), and there are no conceivable indications that his ice time is going to go back below the 10-minute mark that we saw in the season opener.
I’m going to go ahead and suggest 29 goals and 44 assists for 73 points this season.
So what about you? Are you taking the over, or the under? Place your bets and your predictions in the comments below, and enjoy the ride.