Florida's Mike Matheson feels need to welcome Elias Pettersson to the NHL

Stan Temming
Not everyone has appreciated Elias Pettersson’s dazzling play early in his NHL career. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
Not everyone has appreciated Elias Pettersson’s dazzling play early in his NHL career. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

Although he’s played in a handful of games and picked up a few goals in the process, there must have been discussion among NHL veterans that Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson hadn’t truly been welcomed to the National Hockey League just yet.

So, shortly after having his ankles broken by the rookie Swede, Florida’s Mike Matheson was courteous enough to do so with this little gesture on Saturday night.

Pettersson didn’t return to the game after getting slammed to the ice, and you can’t blame him. Matheson really used his 20-plus-pound weight advantage in his attempt to drive the 19-year-old through the ice.

But Pettersson may have gotten the last laugh here though, as the Canucks held on for a 3-2 win to improve their record to 3-2-0 as well. A big reason for the result? You guessed it: Pettersson.

He scored a power-play marker in the first period to continue his torrid start to his rookie campaign. He now has five goals and eight points in five career NHL contests. The kid has been a huge reason for Vancouver’s surprising offensive production so far this season as he’s factored in on 42% of the team’s 19 goals.

Hopefully he was just shaken up on the play and will be able to return to help the lineup as soon as possible. After the game, Vancouver’s head coach Travis Green had no update on his condition.

This should serve as a bit of a wake up call for Pettersson, though. He’s been ripping up the league early in his career and embarrassed NHL defenders have clearly taken notice.

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