Tuesday, September 9, 2008

BBO's Top 20 Oilers Prospects, #1 D Jeff Petry

Jeff Petry is a 6'3" 200lb. defenseman that can skate very well up and down, can carry the puck well including being able to lead the rush, he makes effective and accurate passes, and he possesses a 95MPH slapper from the point.

From the games that I have seen of him, I would compare him to Tom Gilbert, except he is a faster straightaway skater with a better shot, and he plays more of a physical game. Needless to say, he is definitely a player that Oilers fans should be excited about in terms of being a potential NHL player.

Last year with the Michigan State Spartans of the NCAA, Petry had 24 points in 42 games. Not bad for a college freshman! However this season he will be relied upon more heavily in all aspects of the game.

A good personal goal for him would be to get his shot into the back of the net more often. There is no reason why a player with his caliber of shot can't score 7-10 goals this season (he scored only 3 last season), especially after his solid 18 goals in 55 games the season prior in the USHL.

Basically his main focus points to improve his game are...

1) Improve his lateral skating for better defending below the goal line and in front of the crease.

2) Improve his mass and strength. While he is already a strong player for the NCAA, he will need to get stronger to deal with the bigger and much stronger players at the AHL and especially the
NHL level.

3) Utilizing his point shot, with a 95MPH slap shot already, and hopefully with adding 10-20 more pounds of mass to his frame, this could be a guy shooting in the high 90's or even triple digits once he hits his physical prime. If he can better utilize his shot now, he could be that much more dangerous when that time comes. Outside of Sebastian Bisaillon, Jeff Petry has the hardest shot out of all of the Oiler's defensive prospects.

The Oilers can afford to be patient with Petry with their glut of young defensemen on the team and on the farm, however I would be very surprised to see Petry reach his Senior season at MSU. Depending on his season this year, and the Oilers defensive depth, he could even be in the Oilers plans for next season, whether it's in the NHL or AHL will be determined at that point.

However once he has the physical mass to play the pro game, he should be signed ASAP.


Jonathan said...

RE:Petry's shot - is he a guy with accuracy issues, or is he a guy who just doesn't use his shot?

Addicted-to-oil said...

Who's our best defensive defencemen in the system (iyo)?

Traktor said...

Peckham and it isn't close.

Bryanbryoil said...

joathan, IMO he doesn't use it enough, and from what I recall the goals that I saw him score they were on rushes. So he may have had 1 or 2 max from just inside the blueline, or none at all.

Bryanbryoil said...

addicted-to-oil and traktor, I would probably go with Peckham because of his ability to move bodies around and have opposing forwards heads on a swivel, but I think that eventually Petry will be the better defensive d-man. However he'll have to work on his play down low if he is to surpass Peckham.