The Vancouver Canucks seem to have dodged a bullet when it comes to a long-term injury for young superstar Elias Pettersson, but he’ll still spend some time on injured reserve. The team moved Pettersson to IR today in order to recall Adam Gaudette from the Utica Comets. Gaudette himself is an exciting young prospect, and got his offensive game going recently in the minor leagues including a three-point night on Saturday.
Pettersson was injured when he got tangled up with Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi, but escaped major knee damage and is expected to miss just a few weeks. It will be interesting to see how it plays out as we approach the All-Star break though, given that they only have six games remaining before starting a nine-day break on the 23rd. Pettersson is supposed to attend the All-Star game, but would have to be fully healthy for the Canucks to allow him to participate.
Still, this is a great opportunity for Gaudette to reestablish himself as a full-time NHL player. The reigning Hobey Baker award as college hockey’s best player made his NHL debut last season but failed to generate a single point in five games, only to struggle offensively again this year. Selected in the fifth round in 2015, it’s obvious that his early professional career won’t go as swimmingly as his collegiate did. That said, Gaudette does have seven point in seven games for Utica this season and could potentially get an increased role with the Canucks while Pettersson is out.