In this edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors, the organization made changes to their coaching staff on Thursday. Also, forward Elias Pettersson, Conor Garland and Ethan Bear are headed to the 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships next month. Additionally, the Canucks signed defenceman prospect Elias Pettersson to an entry-level deal.
Canucks Move on From Jason King
The Canucks announced they fired assistant coach Jason King on Thursday. King was with the organization for seven years. He served five seasons as an assistant coach with the organization’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate at the time, the Utica Comets. He joined the Vancouver coaching staff in the 2020-21 season. The club doesn’t plan on replacing him. The Canucks addressed moving on from King in a press release.
“The organization would like to thank Jason for his hard work and dedication over the years. His commitment to the club is greatly appreciated and we wish him and his family all the best and future success.”
The Canucks drafted King in the 2001 NHL Draft in the seventh round. He played 55 of his 59 NHL games with the organization. He played professionally for 11 years, 335 games in the AHL and 140 in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).
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With the Canucks as a coach, he ran the power play. The Canucks were pretty successful on the man advantage under King, posting a 23.5 power-play percentage (PP%) in 2021-22 and 22.7% in 2022-23. The 2021-22 PP% is the fifth best in franchise history, while the 2022-23 PP% is the seventh best.
Canucks Headed to World Championships
Multiple Canucks players are expected to play in the 2023 IIHF World Championships in Finland. Forward Pettersson will represent Sweden, Garland will play for Team USA, and Bear will represent Canada.
Related: 3 Abbotsford Canucks to Watch During Calder Cup Playoffs
However, Pettersson needs to secure disability insurance as he only has one year left on his NHL contract (from ‘Elias Pettersson, Ethan Bear likely to play at World Championships,’ The Province, April 20, 2023). If he plays for Sweden, he will play for his old head coach from Vaxjo of the Sweden Hockey League (SHL), Sam Hallam. As for Bear, his agent, Jason Davidson, believes Hockey Canada will secure insurance for his client as he is a restricted free agent. The tournament starts on May 12.
Canucks Sign Defenceman Elias Pettersson
The Canucks signed defenceman Pettersson to a three-year, entry-level contract on Wednesday. The organization drafted the blueliner in the third round of the 2022 Draft with the 80th overall pick.
“We are very happy to have Elias sign with us as he takes another step forward in his hockey career,” general manager Patrik Allvin said. “We really liked the year he had on the ice in both representing his country at the World Juniors and playing important minutes in the SHL. Our development team is excited about the opportunity to continue to work with him and create a stronger relationship and partnership, building upon his already strong desire to learn and compete.”
Pettersson scored a goal and posted seven points in 43 games with Orebro HK of the SHL. The 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, left-shot defender played in seven games for Sweden at the 2023 World Juniors, registering three assists.
Abbotsford Canucks Take Game 1
The AHL 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs have started, and the Abbotsford Canucks picked up a 3-0 win in Game 1 against the Bakersfield Condors. The Condors are the Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate team.
In the 3-0 winning, a few notable names stepped up. Nils Hoglander scored the first goal, which Noah Juulsen assisted. The second goal was by Max Sasson, an NCAA free agent, who the Canucks signed to a two-year entry-level contract a month ago. Hoglander registered an assist on Sasson’s goal as well. Defenceman Jack Rathbone scored the third goal on the power play, assisted by Christian Wolanin and Justin Dowling. Hogalnder was the third star of the game, while Sasson was second, and Spencer Martin was the first star, thanks to his 21-save shutout.
Game 2 will take place on Friday, April 21. Abbotsford only needs one more win to advance to the second round.