Although Bo Horvat has only been a former Vancouver Canuck for a matter of days, he’s already offered his endorsement for the team’s next captain: Elias Pettersson.
After nine seasons with the team and serving as captain since 2019, Horvat was dealt to the New York Islanders on Monday in a trade that saw the Canucks receive Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a protected first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
With Horvat gone, the Canucks are left with a noticeable hole in their leadership group.
Speaking to the media ahead of the NHL’s All-Star Game festivities that begin Friday, Horvat said Pettersson would get his ‘vote’ to fill the now vacant role.
Pettersson, 24, has spent the past five seasons with Vancouver after being drafted by the organization fifth overall in 2017. The Swede has recorded 118 goals and 161 assists in 292 games with the team.
The topic of Horvat’s trade was raised to Pettersson on Thursday by the media.
“It’s nothing I can control,” he said. “Obviously, everybody thought things would play out differently, but (it didn’t). Now you can just look ahead and not think of what could have happened.”
Both Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin and new head coach Rick Tocchet have hinted at Pettersson becoming a part of the new leadership group moving forward.
Tocchet seemed to confirm the matter on Thursday during his appearance on Halford & Brough on Sportsnet 650, when he said Pettersson and Quinn Hughes would be receiving letters. Whether that will be an ‘A’ or the ‘C’ is yet to be determined.