When the Vancouver Canucks drafted Elias Pettersson 5th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, fans and analysts were quick to bring up the fact that Pettersson starred in the Swedish Elite League with fellow Canucks prospect Jonathan Dahlen last season. They then used that connection to draw ties with Canucks legends Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Talented, offensive, Swedish linemates with next-level chemistry? Sedins 2.0? Not so quick, says Dahlen.
In his latest article for the Vancouver Courier, Canucks blogger Daniel Wagner breaks down the Pettersson/Dahlen connection and attempts to temper the fanbase’s rabid insistence on naming a Sedin succession duo.
"It's hard to stand here and compare yourself to two of the best players in Swedish history," said Dahlen during the team’s development camp last week. "Of course, they're big idols for every young Swede, they're great players and it's really fun to watch highlights of them. Me and Elias are going to do our best."
And, make no mistake, while Pettersson and Dahlen are both highly skilled individuals and excellent prospects, they don’t come with one tenth of the hype or pedigree that came with the Sedin twins when they joined the organization. If the two can develop into top line scorers either individually or independently of one another, fans should be satisfied. If either player has even half the career in Vancouver that Daniel and Henrik have had, fans should be over the moon. Still… this is Vancouver we’re talking about, expectations are sky high and patience is thin. Hopefully the team's next Swedish duo is afforded the same opportunity to grow and develop as the team's last legendary duo was.