I slagged on Jeff Petry last year, probably more than he deserved. A combination of his awful numbers and seeing him play two brutal games caused me to drop him out of the top 15 in my prospect rankings. In the games I saw, Petry was getting beat wide pretty easily and did not look mobile, especially for a guy labeled as a great skater. He coughed the puck up and had trouble making a pass.
It may have been an over-reaction.
Michigan State was brutal last year, and Petry averaged close to thirty minutes per game. Even the best defenseman in the NCAA wouldn't have been able to keep his head above water on a team that was outscored nearly two-to-one while he was eating up half of the total ice time for the defense. This year Michigan State has turned it around and Petry's stats have rebounded. His points per game have doubled and his +/- doesn't look like he plays for the Oilers anymore.
There is a distinct possibility that I was snared in the "saw him bad" trap that I've harped on for awhile. His team wasn't back checking and he was erring on the side of protecting the net. His passes weren't so much off of the mark as they weren't received cleanly.
Petry's numbers below the jump.
Below is Jeff Petry's stat line for each of the last two years:
||A ||P ||+/-
|Jeff Petry, 2008-2009
|Jeff Petry, 2009-2010
His NHLE82 for 2008-2009 was 12 points. This year, his NHLE82 thus far is 25 points.
Michigan State was 10-23-5 last year. As a team, they were -53 at even strength.
Michigan State is 15-7-4 this year. As a team, they are +24 at even strength.
I don't know who Brock Shelgren is, but someone sign him!