Canucks’ Elias Pettersson: “I Can Play Better”

Canucks' center Elias Pettersson. Photo by Dom Gagne/CSM/Shutterstock (10579439b)

Vancouver Canucks’ center Elias Pettersson had a productive 2019/20 season, making his second consecutive All-Star appearance and tying his career-high in points (66). However, the 21-year-old Swede believes he still hasn’t reached his full potential.

Talking with a reporter on Thursday, Pettersson said he is pleased with the way he played during the regular season but knows that he can “play better.”

“My second season I am very happy with, but I still think, or I know, I can play better,” said Pettersson. “First season (2018/19) was very good. I think the end of the last 20-30 games my first season wasn’t that good, but it was a good learning point for me.”

Pettersson already identified the elements of his game that he needs to improve in order to get better.

“Maturing in the game, like never losing puck battles, never lose (the puck) if I’m going to try and dangle someone,” he added. “Small areas, small details that I can work on to become better.”

Elias Pettersson was selected 5th overall by Canucks in 2017 and signed his entry contract with the organization a year later. In his debut season, Pettersson skated in 71 games, scoring 28 goals and adding 38 assists en route to Calder Memorial Trophy as the rookie of the year.

With 27 goals and 39 assists this season, Pettersson was once again one of Vancouver Canucks’ key players and helped them to 36-27-6 record. He is now looking to make his contribution even bigger and lead Canucks to Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Canucks are set to play Minnesota Wild in the play-in tournament, with the winner of best-of-five series advancing to the postseason.