Tragic would be too big a word, but disturbing and disappointing would have fit the bill, had ‘Petey 2.0’, Elias Pettersson the defenceman, not been able to continue on the first day of Vancouver Canucks Development Camp.
On one of the first drills of the middle session after the forwards had joined the defenceman, Pettersson angled off a player on the move into the right wing corner and came away in discomfort. It seemed to take about twenty minutes for him to shake off the hitch-in-his-giddy-up in his right leg. Apparently the tweak subsided and he carried on successfully.
“Yes, everything is fine,” Pettersson said afterwards, “just took a little hit on the knee and everything is fine now.”
It actually added to his overall grit and determination presentation. Even dinged up for that short period of time, it never impacted Pettersson’s conditioning or compete level.
“That was a real drawing point to drafting him to begin with, he showed up really well in our off-ice testing as far as his power, it’s noticeable right out of the gates,” stated Vancouver Canucks Assistant to the General Manager Ryan Johnson. “We like his presence, we like his physicality and we’ll be excited to grow along with him and see where he goes.”
— Rob Simpson (@simmerpuck) July 11, 2022
It’s been a mild whirlwind since being drafted in the 3rd-round on Friday afternoon in Montreal. Three days later he finds himself skating on the same ice and taking instructions from Swedish legends Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
“They are icons in Sweden and all over the world and they being at training is awesome,” Pettersson said, “I always watched them as a kid and they have been the stars in the world, and being here with them, to have them as a coach, is awesome.”
For purposes of clarification, the media asked “Petey 2.0” for his preferred name pronunciation. At first he gave us two options, but eventually settle on “Ell-lie-us”, as opposed to the other Pettersson’s “Ah-lee-iss”. This is helpful with one of each. As for a nickname, his friends call him E.P. I have a feeling all of the aforementioned may end up being modified at some point if and when he joins the Vancouver Canucks.
Pettersson mentioned he enjoys the volume of media so far in Montreal and in Vancouver, something he’s not used to seeing playing in Orebro, a city of 120,000 inhabitants back in Sweden. He played 37 games of junior hockey for the club this past season, but also earned 17 games at the highest professional level in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).
“I would say my skating is my biggest strength and my size, comparing that to my skating,” E.P. said. “If you’re going to make it to the NHL I think you need to work on everything and this is a really good camp, and I’m going to develop as much as I can so it’s really good.”
That won’t happen soon. Pettersson is under contract to continue his development in Sweden at least through the 2023-’24 season. That of course changes should the NHL come calling.
“He’s a good defenceman, (Pettersson is) tough to play against,” said Vancouver Canucks 1st-round pick Jonathan Lekkerimaki of his former Swedish national squad teammate.
A successful first day for a 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-shot defensive prospect, as opposed to an unfortunate one.