There’s a lot of ‘first impression’ moments that stand out in Canucks lore over the years. Bure’s incredible showcase against the Jets in his first NHL game. Roberto Luongo’s stellar introduction against the Red Wings at the Joe. But this one is different.
Everyone knew Elias Pettersson was good. He dominated in the SHL as an 18-year-old, something nobody has ever done before. People had him slated as a candidate for the Calder Trophy this year, before he even came to North America for training camp. He dazzled in the pre-season and showed that he belonged. But come October 3rd, it was time to throw all of that out the window and see what this kid is really made of.
And boy did he deliver.
It’s a goal I’ve had on repeat all night. It’s a play that will be infamous in Canucks history, and should be the kickstarter for what should be one heck of a career in the National Hockey League.
The great read in his own end to stay and wait for the chip up to him, the awareness of the 2-on-1, the hesitation and of course, the absolute snipe top corner for his first NHL goal, on his first shot, in his first game.
That could’ve been it, and it still would’ve been the buzz all night in Vancouver, but he did it again on the second goal of the game, making a heads up play in front to find Goldobin wide open at the side of the net for his first apple too.
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) October 4, 2018
The best part of the night though, was his reaction on the bench after his first goal, with the crowd roaring in Rogers Arena, a buzz in the building that hasn’t been felt since the Sedin’s incredible final game in Vancouver, and prior to that, 2011.
Pettersson knows pic.twitter.com/kl8AxqLl5P
— xTech (@xTechHockey) October 4, 2018
Pettersson finished the night with under 10 minutes of ice time (wyd Green?) and just one shot, but got two points, had some other great chances, and was hounding the puck all night in a 5-2 win for the Canucks.
At this point in the Canucks rebuild, it’s not about the Cup. It’s not about the playoffs. It’s about hope. Will Pettersson do this every night? Definitely not. But the hope is there, there’s a spark in Vancouver that this is a sign of things to come, much like what Canucks fans saw with Brock Boeser last year, and with Bo Horvat years before that. With Quinn Hughes probably making the jump next year, and with Dahlen, Juolevi and Demko still on the way, the future is very bright on the West Coast.
This season is all about development, moving forward, seeing the kids grow; and if opening night was any sign of things to come, this year might not be big in the standings, but huge for the future.