NHL Notebook: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting suspended three games and Vancouver Canucks sign Elias Pettersson to entry-level contract

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without forward Michael Bunting until game five, should they make it there, of their first round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Bunting was suspended for three games after he laid an illegal check to the head of Bolts defenceman Erik Cernak.
Here’s some of what Daily Faceoff’s Colton Davies wrote about what happened:
The incident occurred around the 4:20 mark during the second period when Bunting threw a hit on Cernak with his elbow connecting to his head. Cernak went down immediately and needed help off the ice. Lighting head coach Jon Cooper confirmed to media on Wednesday that Cernak did not practice and will not be in for game two against the Leafs. Bunting was assessed a five-minute major for the incident, thrusting the Lighting to a five-minute powerplay where they already led the game by  a score of 4-2 prior to the illegal check to the head. Forwards Corey Perry and 50-goal scorer Brayden Point each capitalized on the ensuing powerplay, Point scoring his second goal of the night to give the Bolts a commanding 5-2 lead. The Lightning would go on to spoil the first game of the playoffs for the Leafs 7-3. The Lightning took a 1-0 series lead.

Canucks ink Pettersson

He’s not that Elias Pettersson, but he is Elias Pettersson.
And he’s got an entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
Sharing the same name as the Canucks forward, the defensive prospect Pettersson was taken in the third round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and could be a real solid prospect for the Canucks.
Here’s what Canucks Army’s Chris Faber wrote about the prospect:
Pettersson was one of the four defenceman who were 18 or under on team Sweden at the most recent World Junior Championship and he will be relied upon to be a horse at next year’s tournament. He averaged just under 18 minutes a game over his seven games at the tournament and led Sweden in shorthanded ice time. The WJC was a good boost of confidence for Pettersson but he was feeling confident going into the tournament because of his strong play in the SHL in the weeks prior to coming over for the U20 international competition.
The first thing we liked during our viewings of Pettersson is his skating. For a guy his size, he is very fluid when skating backwards and does a good job of coming up the ice with momentum before making a decision on where to go with the puck. He is quick to get into the corners to chase down dump-ins and as he is skating, he is constantly evaluating the open ice around him and where he needs to go with the puck to get it out of his defensive zone as quickly as possible.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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