Can anyone explain Elias Pettersson? How is this reedy freak of a beanpole Swede lighting up the National Hockey League? At just 21 years of age, in his second season with Vancouver, this pencil-necked Draco Malfoy looking kid is regularly flummoxing opponents built more like Quirinus Quirrell’s mountain troll.
Off the ice, the Calder winner is known for juggling astride his unicycle. Which makes sense. He’s got the physique of a natural Amsterdam busker. In games, he applies that same dexterity to simply create more time and space than other players have — time and space he uses for this sort of thing:
When commentators praising Pettersson invoke the name of Gretzky, it’s usually with respect to the young Canuck’s “hockey sense.” But the comparison wouldn’t to mind except for the players’ shared puniness. The Great One weighed in at just 160 pounds his rookie season, and famously disliked lifting weights.
(What was his line? Something like “if a barbell ever scores a goal, then I’ll lift barbells.” Which… not to second-guess the Pride of Brantford, but this is lousy logic. I mean, it’s within my physical ability to hoist Wayne Gretzky, but I would not expect to thereby gain his scoring powers.)
And it’s not just “hockey sense” that makes Pettersson so impressive. It’s the dazzling feats of finesse he tosses off on the regular with his maxed-out DEX stat bonus.
He’s pretty fun to watch. Here’s hoping the baffling weirdo ends up resembling Gretzky in longevity, too.