Bruce Boudreau: Elias Pettersson is the ‘future captain of the Vancouver Canucks’
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Gould10 days ago
Bruce Boudreau may no longer be the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, but it’s clear he still has a particular affinity for his old star player.
In a conversation with Jackie Redmond on the NHL Network on Thursday evening, Boudreau expressed his admiration for the player Elias Pettersson has become over the last two seasons and shared his belief in his leadership capabilities.
“I think this guy is fabulous,” Boudreau said. “And I think he’s gonna have 120 points, maybe not this year but in the future. He’s gonna get that many. But with Elias, he’s not a guy that likes to be yelled at. You have to come — he’s very Mike Green-ish type thing — and I would come and talk to him every game and I’d say, ‘You’ve gotta be the best today, I’m going to play you against this guy,’ and he’d say, ‘I want the challenge,’ because he’s so competitive.
“I mean, I really believe that he’s the future captain of the Vancouver Canucks,” Boudreau continued. “I could see him grow from last year to this year to even more.”
Pettersson, 24, is in the midst of a career season with the Canucks. He already has 31 goals and 85 points in just 65 games with the team this season and has continued his stretch of excellent play that began when Boudreau took over for Travis Green last season.
The Canucks originally selected Pettersson in the first round (No. 5 overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft. The six-foot-two centre made his NHL debut in the 2018–19 season and immediately emerged as a top young player, winning the Calder Trophy in 2019 as the league’s top rookie.
Through 310 games over parts of five seasons with the Canucks, Pettersson has recorded 128 goals and 306 points. He’ll be eligible to become a restricted free agent next summer when his current contract, which carries a $7.35 million annual cap hit, runs its course.
The Canucks will return to action at 7:00 p.m. PT on Saturday to take on the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena.
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