The Vancouver Canucks will have not one, but two young starts back in their lineup tonight. Head coach Travis Green announced that both Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser will make their returns from injury for the game this evening. Pettersson has been activated from the injured reserve, which he landed on nearly two weeks ago after suffering a concussion. It is a relatively quick recovery from what looked like a bad head injury on a dirty play. Boeser has missed the past two games for the Canucks with a groin injury, but fortunately is back sooner than expected as well.
Boeser, of course, is Vancouver’s reigning rookie standout, finishing second in Calder Trophy voting last season and being named an All-Star. Boeser notched 29 goals and 55 points in 62 games to lead the Canucks in scoring, despite missing 20 games. The University of North Dakota product has been off that same pace early this year, recording six points through nine games, but the hope is that any lingering injuries are behind him and he can get back to 30-goal form. However, Pettersson, the team’s newest rookie phenom, is around to pick up the slack and more. The fifth overall pick in 2017, Pettersson was off to a hot start prior to his injury, with five goals and eight points in five games. If the skilled Swede is truly past his concussion, he should get right back to tormenting the opposition.
The Canucks could not have asked for better timing to get their dynamic young duo back in action. The team recently suffered additional injuries to Alexander Edler and Sven Baertschi, who both landed on injured reserve, and are still without Jay Beagle. On top of that, Green revealed that top defenseman Chris Tanev will also be sidelined tonight. At 6-5, the Canucks have managed well enough considering their injuries, but have not won a game in regulation in more than two weeks. Vancouver especially needed help as soon as possible as they get set to face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight and hope that Pettersson and Boeser can bring the offense needed to keep up with the Eastern Conference powerhouse.