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Canucks’ prized rookie Pettersson leaves game with ugly leg injury

The Vancouver Canucks can not seem to have nice things.

Early in the second period of Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, their prized rookie, forward Elias Pettersson, was knocked out of the game with what the team is calling a “lower-body injury” after he was hauled down away from the play by Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

You can see the play in the video above, and it’s definitely a strange one because Kotkaniemi seemed to commit at least two different penalties on the play and was not called for any of them. It also resulted in Pettersson’s right leg being awkwardly twisted as he became tangled up and fell to the ice.

The good news is that he was able to leave the ice under his own power.

The bad news is it looked really bad and the Canucks ruled out him out for the remainder of the game.

Pettersson has been the league’s best rookie this season and entered play on Thursday having already scored 22 goals (with 20 assists) in his first 37 games.

He has already missed time this season due to a concussion after he was body-slammed by Florida’s Michael Matheson on a play that resulted in Matheson being suspended for two games.

Pettersson and second-year standout Brock Boeser have been the Canucks’ two best players this season.

At this point Pettersson has to be considered the front-runner for the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year.

Boeser was certainly in the running for the award a year ago until his season was cut short due to injury.

At this point we do not know the extent of Pettersson’s injury, but anything that knocks him out of a game is going to be cause for concern in Vancouver.

Canucks coach Travis Green said after the game there is currently no timeline for Petterson’s return, but that he is going to remain with the team on its current road trip that wraps up against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.