The future looks bright for a young Canucks team

Riley Radiuk / September 17, 2018

With the Vancouver Canucks pre-season set to start tomorrow when they take on the Edmonton Oilers at home, we take a look at the state of the franchise and how they are expected to compete this year. After finishing near the bottom of the league over the last three years, the team has been able to build a prospect pool that ranks among the top of the NHL, and should be very exciting to watch in just a few years. This year should bode well for the Nucks, however will most likely turn into a transition year, as the young players begin to turn the team into their own.

Elias Pettersson puts on a Canucks jersey for the first time after being drafted 5th overall in 2017.

@_eliaspettersson / Instagram

Canucks fans haven’t had a solidified prospect like Elias Pettersson in a long time and this year they’ll finally get to see the 2017 5th overall pick play in Canucks uniform. Pettersson’s lethal offensive skills make him a threat to the opposition when in their zone, however his exceptional neutral and defensive zone play makes him the next level player he is. The slick Swedish centerman dominated the Swedish Elite League as a teenager, which is something that rarely happens. In fact, with 56 points in 44 games, Pettersson is the highest scoring 19 year old in the history of the league. To give some context to the numbers, William Nylander posted 20 points in 21 games in the SHL as an 18 year old, and went on to score back to back 61 point seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs these past two seasons. It should be expected that Pettersson should at least match those numbers, depending on who he plays with. This is just the beginning for Pettersson, who is expected to shoulder a big load of this young Canucks team for years to come.