It’s not yet known whether Elias Pettersson will win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie, though it seems like a bit of a slam dunk at this point. To be fair, some pundits (who aren't based in Vancouver, unsurprisingly) have put other names in contention, but the general consensus seems to be that Pettersson is the major favourite to take home the hardware at this point.
You may recall that last year, another Canucks rookie sensation, Brock Boeser, was inexplicably left off the All-Star fan ballot. The league wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice, as Pettersson’s brilliance has been impossible to ignore this year. Currently, he sits tied for 19th in points-per-game among players that have appeared in over 15 contests this year. The players he’s tied with? Leon Draisaitl, Sean Monahan and Sidney Crosby. Not bad.
The fans vote for the starters on each division’s team, while the league fills the rest of the rosters. So it’s more or less a foregone conclusion that Pettersson will be on the All-Star team, fan vote or not. (Boeser and Bo Horvat are the team’s other players listed on the ballot, and while Horvat should make it, it’s definitely not a guarantee that he will.) There are only two other rookies on the fan ballot, Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot and Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres.
Meanwhile, Brady Tkachuk, who some have touted as a challenger to Pettersson for the Calder, isn’t on the list.
It’s doubtful that Pettersson will one of the fan vote spots to go to the SAP Center in San Jose for All-Star weekend, but he should be a shoo-in for a roster spot. Can he win the game’s MVP, like Boeser did last year? We wouldn’t bet against it.
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