On this day in 2019, Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson wins the Calder Memorial Trophy at the NHL Awards
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
3 months ago
On this day in 2019, Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson became the recipient of the Calder Memorial Trophy at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the most proficient player in his first season in the NHL.
There’s no better time in the offseason than the NHL awards, as players get the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments they achieved throughout the season. Some of the best moments come from the player who receives the Calder Memorial Trophy.
Everyone knows it’s not easy coming into such a high-caliber league, and becoming an outstanding player in a rookie season is even more complex. Still, for some, they make themselves right at home, just as Pettersson did for the Canucks. In his NHL rookie season, Pettersson became the Canucks’ leading scorer with 28 goals and 66 points.
He accomplished more in his NHL season debut than some players are able to achieve in their entire career. He was consistently productive in all areas of the game, and it showed. He led NHL rookies with 10 power-play goals and set a Vancouver rookie record for most game-winning goals at seven. As an agile two-way forward, the Canucks benefited from the then 20-year-old, boosting their shot attempts percentage to 50.14 at 5-on-5 with Pettersson on the ice.
“I don’t see myself as a superstar, I see myself as a kid playing hockey and living my dream here in North America,” Pettersson told media after receiving the award.
“I’m just excited for the future and I just want to continue to grow as a player.”
He is only the second Cancuk to win the award since Pavel Bure in 1992. He also became just the fourth Swedish-born player to win the Calder, following Colorado Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog in 2012, Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators in 1996, and Peter Forsberg of the Quebec Nordiques in 1995.
Pettersson has continued to have success in Vancouver since his rookie season. In 2022-23 he scored 39 goals and 102 points, serving as one of the Canucks alternate captains.
Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Jordan Binnington was the second runner-up for the award after his first NHL start on January 7th, 2019, and went 24-5-1 with a .927 save percentage. He had five shutouts in 32 games, which helped push the Blue Jackets into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2019.
Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres was also in the running for the trophy. Dahlin led rookie defensemen in points at 44 and power-play points at 20 that year.
Aleena Aksenchuk is an intern with Oilersnation and the Nation Network. She can be found on Twitter at @A_Aksenchuk8.
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