Playing with a tweaked right knee that kept him off the ice for two days at Vancouver Canucks Development Camp, 2022 3rd-round draft pick Elias Pettersson (‘Petey 2.0″, or “E.P” to some) sucked it up and gave it his best effort in participating in the full Thursday scrimmage. There was a noticeable hitch-in-his-giddy-up.
He indicated his plans with a brief encounter with VHN while watching Wednesday drills from the stands, when he said, “It’s OK, I will try to play tomorrow.”
And that he did, in a lively mix of full strength hockey, four-on-four, three-on-three, and a shoot-out enjoyed by Vancouver Canucks staff, media and a few dozen fans.
“He surprised me a little bit,” said Vancouver Canucks player development coach Mikael Samuelsson, “he can play, he’s a good player, you could see it. His mind was there, we spoke to him and said ‘if you’re really injured, don’t go out there’, but he said I want to, I want to, and you saw what he did. I thought he had a good game.”
Pettersson suffered the setback on day-one of the Development Camp on Monday during the first cross-over session when the forwards joined the defencemen, literally on his first shift. He was executing a check, angling off a player in the right wing corner, implementing a technique he had just been practising in drills.
Despite missing time, it didn’t squash the enthusiasm he had shared on Monday.
“If you’re gonna make it to the NHL, I think you need to work on everything,” Pettersson said, “This is a really good camp and I’m trying to help as much as I can.”
The injury is not considered serious and he’ll continue work-outs. Pettersson will spend at least the next two seasons playing back home in Sweden.
“We like his presence, we like his physicality and we’ll be excited to grow along with him and see where he goes,” Vancouver Canucks Assistant to the General Manager Ryan Johnson said earlier in the week.