Elias Pettersson has been arguably the most exciting young player in the entire NHL this season. His debut for the Vancouver Canucks in 2018-19 has been dynamic, but has also been marred by injury at times. Pettersson suffered a concussion earlier in the year when he was thrown hard to the ice, and tonight has suffered a lower-body injury in similar fashion. Pettersson sustained the injury when he got tangled up with Montreal Canadiens rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi and will not return to the game.
Whether or not Pettersson is out for an extended period of time, this is the exact worry many had about his chances to put together a long career in the NHL. The 20-year old center is a tremendous talent, but at 6’2″ 176-lbs can be worked over physically. His skill and production makes him a target for the other team, and though this play may have not been intentional—or at least as intentional as the Mike Matheson incident—he’s going to continue to be involved in situations like this throughout his career. Hopefully in this case it will turn out to just be a minor knee injury.
If he does miss time, there’s a chance he or the Canucks could decide he should not attend the All-Star game at the end of the month. Pettersson was selected to the Pacific Division team after recording 42 points in his first 37 games, and is the runaway favorite for the Calder Trophy at this point in the season.