Canucks Make Perfect King Clancy Nomination with Pettersson

On Tuesday evening, the King Clancy nominees were released to the public, naming one representative from each NHL team. The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities, both on and off the ice, and has also made humanitarian contributions to his community. The Vancouver Canucks submitted their choice in Elias Pettersson, who completed his best statistical season to date.

The winner of this prestigious award is based on several criteria, including their impact on the community, time and resource investment, commitment to both a cause and to the NHL’s initiatives, and how one uses their influence in the engagement with others. The last recipient, P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils, was nominated four times, including the prior two seasons. Shortly after his win, Subban announced his retirement.

The Canucks were wise to nominate Pettersson this season, and he’ll look to join the likes of Trevor Linden, Henrik Sedin, and Daniel Sedin as winners of the trophy. Here’s how he turned a lost 2022-23 season into one worthy of the award.

Pettersson’s Generosity Well Known in Vancouver

In 2020, Pettersson was a part of the 2020 NHL All-Star Game and put on a show during the skills competition. His 102.4 mile-per-hour slap shot was the second-hardest shot by a forward, and he finished just behind John Carlson and Shea Weber. While that was impressive, what followed the weekend festivities was nothing short of remarkable.

Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks
Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The victorious Pacific Division split a $1 million pot amongst the group, including the head coach, and Pettersson had no intention of keeping the money to himself. In honour of Brock Boeser’s father, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010, he donated all of his earnings to the Parkinson’s Society of British Columbia and the Minnesota chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association.

Again, in 2021, he broke out his wallet to support another great cause in the Canucks for Kids Fund. Donating a lump sum of $50,000, the largest single-amount donation by any Canucks player at the time, the Swedish winger wanted to make sure the community felt the love he received when he joined the team in 2017.

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In a press release, Pettersson spoke with, stating, “When I signed my new contract, I knew I wanted to put some of that money towards charities and giving back to the community. I’m glad I am able to do so in the city I’ve come to know and love and to the beneficiaries that mean so much to our team.”

Pettersson Developed Into a True Leader

While Pettersson’s season-high 39 goals and 102 points were nothing short of spectacular, one moment that stood out during the season came without skates. Amidst the rumblings of forward J.T. Miller being a negative presence in the locker room due to his emotions, it was Pettersson who spoke out and came to the defense of his teammate.

J.T. Miller Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Speaking with John Garrett and Scott Oake of Sportsnet, Pettersson stated, “He’s a guy that wants to do everything to win, and he’s a great teammate. He’s passionate and all he cares about is winning.” Brushing off the overly emotional storyline placed on Miller, Pettersson pointed out that the whole team felt the same emotions and made it clear the criticisms were unwarranted.

It was an immense responsibility for the 24-year-old to shoulder, but one he gracefully did, all while leading the Canucks in points and goals. On the ice, the young man his colleagues refer to as “Petey” was nothing short of phenomenal, but his leadership off of it blossomed right in front of everyone’s eyes. He may be in some healthy competition with other nominees, but Pettersson is worthy of being in the mix.

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