‘I feel good and have confidence to not be hesitant about anything,’ says Elias Pettersson. ‘But the team is also playing good and it’s easy to look at me because I’m scoring and getting more points lately.’

Elias Pettersson is finally in a good place physically and mentally, and the Vancouver Canucks centre knows he can be a difference-maker on a difficult and crucial road trip with stops in Minnesota on Thursday and Calgary on Saturday.

Pettersson is sporting a 17.1 shooting percentage, tops among club forwards, a figure that hasn’t been this high since the slick Swede’s rookie 2018-19 season in which he went 19.4 per cent en route to claiming the Calder Trophy.

And if you think confidence, or a lack of it, is just a convenient crutch to summarize his success or failure, then you don’t know Pettersson.

His standard is higher than he lets on because he has always preached and demonstrated a team-first approach. Check him out hustling on the back check to break up scoring attempts. Watch a devotion to being deployed on the vastly improved penalty kill that leads to intercepting passes and springing away on two-on-one advantages.

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