Elias Pettersson said he is “hungry for revenge” after the Vancouver Canucks forward missed the final 30 games last season because of a wrist injury.
Pettersson, who began shooting pucks last month, also said he is fully healthy to start the season.
“I kind of hyperextended my wrist, and that injury cost me half the season,” Pettersson said Wednesday in Sweden. “And for sure, this definitely was my most frustrating season. But it feels good now, there will be no problems whatsoever to start next season. Had [the season] started today, I would have been able to play. I’m completely recovered.
“It was an unfortunate injury. I’m extremely hungry for revenge. I haven’t played a single game since March 2. I’m really looking forward to play games again.”
Surgery wasn’t required for the injury, which occurred in a 4-0 win at the Winnipeg Jets on March 1. Pettersson played in a 5-2 loss at Winnipeg the next day but left the morning skate early March 4 and did not play again.
Pettersson scored 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 26 games last season, his third in the NHL. He scored 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his final 14 games for the Canucks (23-29-4), who finished last in the seven-team Scotia North Division. The top four teams qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“If Vancouver had advanced to the playoffs, I could have played, but then it would have been on painkillers,” Pettersson said. “I am practicing full time now, I have moved to Stockholm and have been practicing hard all summer.”
Pettersson scored 66 points in each of his first two NHL seasons, including 27 goals in 68 games in 2019-20. Selected by Vancouver with the No. 5 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Pettersson won the Calder Trophy voted as the NHL rookie of the year in 2018-19 and has scored 153 points (65 goals, 88 assists) in 165 regular-season games. His 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 17 games helped the Canucks advance to the Western Conference Second Round in 2019-20, when they lost in seven games to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Pettersson, a restricted free agent, said he expects to get a contract worked out before the season.
“I want to stay [in Vancouver] now, but I also want to play for a team that’s winning and has the chance to go far into the playoffs ever year,” said the 22-year-old, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2024-25 season. “I feel like we’ve got a chance to do that next year. If we have that chance when my next deal expires … I don’t know. I just want to play where there’s a chance of winning.
“Right now, we’re not in an agreement, but I’m not worried that we’re not going to solve it eventually. Both parties need to be happy in order to find a solution, but I’m not worried about that.”
NHL.com/sv independent correspondents Janne Bengstom and Uffe Bodin contributed to this report