Canucks draft Elias Pettersson in 3rd round which is very confusing


The Canucks will now have two Elias Petterssons. Or Eliases Pettersson. Eliasi?

Yes, you read that headline right. The Vancouver Canucks have selected Elias Pettersson 80th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

No, not that Elias Pettersson. There is one more. The Canucks now have two Elias Petterssons or Eliases Pettersson.

The Canucks were already the only team in NHL history to have two players of the same name at the same time, having both Greg Adams and Greg C. Adams in the 1988-89 season.

This year’s Elias Pettersson is an Örebro HK defender in the SHL and he is a very different player from the Elias Pettersson the Canucks already have.

Elias Pettersson is a reliable shutdown defender with limited offensive advantage, but he has a nice combination of size at 6’2” and speed.

“He plays physically and shows a lot of balance under pressure, using his mobility and reach to close gaps, occasionally with power,” said Jimmy Hamrin of Elite Prospects. “Everything is there for him to be effective defensively in the NHL in a subordinate role.”

†[Pettersson] brings good physicality, a smart stick and skates with a good rating,” says Cam Robinson.

While unlikely to score points, he’s a good puck mover outside the defensive zone, with a strong first pass and the ability to dodge forecheckers with some trickery and decent puck-handling skill to match his mobile skating.

“Elias’ best feature is probably how, when playing with confidence, he can use his skating skills to dodge the pressure and open the game in the breakout,” reads his Draftin Europe scouting report. “He handles the puck well and can turn, curl or cut with it. He makes subtle and effective exhaust passages to his center at the breakout. He has the tools to potentially beat the first forechecker at the next level and start the rush. †

As with any player selected in the third round, Elias Pettersson has flaws, not least that it is extremely difficult to Google him.

In terms of factual flaws, he is a calm and level-headed defender, but he has been criticized for being too calm and not urgent at times.

“He’s too casual with some of his passes in the defensive zone,” says Draftin Europe. “For a player of his size, Pettersson should be more involved in combat.”

Pettersson scored 10 goals and 18 points in 37 games in Sweden’s J20 Nationell junior league, but improved his play-off game by 10 points in 6 games. Most importantly, he spent some time in the SHL, a good sign for a teenage defender.

In 17 games with Örebro, Pettersson scored just 6:23 in Ice Age, but that is taken down by several games in which he was in the line-up but didn’t play, with teams allowed to dress up 7 defenders in the SHL. Pettersson had multiple matches in which he played over 10 minutes, reaching a peak of 16:46 in a match in February. That shows a lot of confidence in an 18-year-old defender.

Fun fact: Elias Pettersson says his favorite NHL player is Elias Pettersson.

The real question is, what will the Canucks do when they have two Elias Petterssons in the lineup? They will have to put their middle initials in the name bars.

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