As of 3 pm on Saturday, there’s no guarantee that Lane Pederson will play for the Vancouver Canucks against the Winnipeg Jets. It’s leaning that way, but much depends on the health (illness) of Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser.
Since being acquired with defenceman Ethan Bear from the Carolina Hurricanes back on October 28th for a 5th-round pick, Pederson has been lighting up the American Hockey League. He has a remarkable 17 goals and 24 points in 18 games played for the Abbotsford Canucks.
He was called up to the NHL on Friday.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity,” Pederson said, “super thankful that the Canucks brought me in, and gave me an opportunity in Abbotsford and now here, so just really excited for the opportunity and it should be fun.”
Pederson has a big fan in fellow Saskatoon hometown boy Luke Schenn. The Canucks 33-year-old defenceman knew the 25-year-old centreman from back home and also from training camp with the Arizona Coyotes in 2017.
“He’s come a long way, undrafted guy, into the NHL,” Schenn pointed out. “Kind of got a late start getting going in his junior career and Coyotes took a chance on him, I was with him in training camp back in Arizona too, so this is kind of familiar territory. First time NHL games, but it’s pretty cool, he’s come a long way and last summer was the first summer he trained with (Luke’s brother) Brayden (Schenn) and I in Kelowna too, so we’re proud of him and hopefully he gets a crack at it, too,”
Pederson scored his first and only NHL goal during a 15 game stint with the Coyotes two seasons ago. He played 29 games last season for the San Jose Sharks.
This season, although he seems to have found his touch, Pederson knows there’s more to it than lighting the lamp, especially at hockey’s highest level.
“You’ve gotta be a two-way player, you’ve gotta be dependable,” Pederson said. “Those kind of things are cliché, but they’re true, that’s kind of how you stay in the line-up, you’ve gotta earn the trust of the coaches and of your teammates, so that’s what I’m going to try to do tonight. Small stepping stone and just try and build.”
Puck drop at Rogers Arena is a little after 7 pm pacific.