Welcome to the Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings, the series that makes you want to be under 25 again. The list includes all players born after January 1, 1996. Five editors (Beggsy, Westy, CanucksAbbyFan2, Trevor Connors, Markus Meyer) and a former editor (Daniel Gee, Elite Prospects) voted for the draft.
While the Canucks didn’t win a draft lottery during Jim Benning’s tenure, they ultimately came out as clear winners in the 2017 NHL Draft.
In example # 7382 of why you shouldn’t doubt a player in today’s NHL based on his height, the Canucks landed the lanky, skinny Swede in fifth place.
Since then, he has delivered a performance worthy of a No. 1 overall selection.
While we haven’t completed our Top 25 Under-25 list since Elias Pettersson entered the NHL, he’s essentially number one since entering the ice for the Canucks on October 3. 2018.
Pettersson scored 10 goals in 10 games for the Canucks early in his career, and he hasn’t looked back since. The superstar center became the first Canuck since Pavel Bure to win the Calder Trophy, and he managed to avoid the sophomore slump in 2019-20 for the Canucks.
Not only that, but he helped lead this team to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
In the playoffs, there was no sign of nervousness from young Elias. Instead, he continued to impress the entire NHL, ending the playoffs with 18 points in 17 games.
He’s also proven he’s not about to be shoved in the playoffs.
I mentioned previously which I briefly debated to place Quinn Hughes in first place overall, based on the fact that both players are true superstars and that a star defender should rank higher than a star center.
However, I ended up changing my mind due to Pettersson’s dominance at either end of the ice. The defensive side of his game is something that gets talked about a lot in this market, but I don’t think the rest of the NHL realizes how good that part of his game is still.
He is truly an aspiring Pavel Datsyukian player – except his cap is arguably even higher.
What’s next for Pettersson?
Against all odds – and against the consensus of scouts in 2017, Pettersson has become one of the best players in hockey.
In no particular order, here are some of the things that should be on Pettersson’s to-do list next.
- End the season on average on one point per game (look for it to accomplish that this season)
- Win an Art Ross or Hart Trophy
- Lead the Canucks to a Stanley cup
It’s been a long time since we said that about a single player in Vancouver. The twins have almost ticked every box there, and Pettersson is bound to follow in their footsteps.
The hope with Pettersson, however, is that he will be able to do what the Sedins almost accomplished – lead the Canucks to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Thanks for following our 2020 Canucks Top 25 Under 25 list. Do you disagree with any of the rankings? Let us know in the comments or on social media @nucksmisconduct. Find all the items you missed below.