Edmonton’s Top 25 Under 25: #7 Jeff Petry

via cdn.picapp.com

Tom Gilbert is a silky smooth defender with a knack for positioning, leverage and passing.  Gilbert is a heady player and he's worked very hard to eliminate mental breakdowns from his game.  He's got size, 6'3"  206lbs, skating ability, playmaking ability, scoring ability and he's played tough minutes for the Oilers and has acquitted himself very well.  Gilbert has the size and strength to play a physical brand of hockey and will do so when called upon, but he prefers to extract the puck with leverage, smarts and finesse and move the puck the other way rather than take himself out of a play.  Gilbert came out of Bloomington, MN and prior to going to the NCAA made a stop in the USHL with the Chicago Steel.  After adjusting to the faster-paced Juniors game, he went on to star at the University of Wisconsin, a school that is reviled by all fans in his home state of Minnesota.  Wisconsin suffered through one of their worst seasons in school history during Gilbert's freshman year.  At Wisconsin he played in 162 games, amassing 89 points, or .55 points per game.   Gilbert became one of the top defensemen in the WCHA, a conference well-known as one of the toughest playing environments in the NCAA.

Gilbert was traded to Edmonton in exchange for Tommy Salo and has become a stalwart on the blueline in Edmonton.

 


Rank Player DOB Drafted Year Ben
Bruce
Derek
Jon Scott
7 Jeff Petry
12/9/87
45 2006
11 9 4 10 10

 

Nhl_prospects_headshots_6948_mediumJeff Petry is a silky smooth defender with a knack for positioning, leverage and passing.  Petry is a heady player and he's worked very hard to eliminate mental breakdowns from his game.  He's got size, 6'3"  200lbs, skating ability, playmaking ability, scoring ability and he's played tough minutes for the Spartans and has acquitted himself very well.  Petry has the size and strength to play a physical brand of hockey and will do so when called upon, but he prefers to extract the puck with leverage, smarts and finesse and move the puck the other way rather than take himself out of a play. Petry came out of Ann Arbor, MI and prior to going to the NCAA made a stop in the USHL with the Des Moines Buccaneers  After adjusting to the faster-paced Juniors game, he went on to star at Michigan State University, a school that is reviled by all fans in his hometown of Ann Arbor.  Michigan State suffered through one of their worst seasons in school history during Petry's sophomore year.  At Michigan State, he's played in 114 games, amassing 63 points, or .55 points per game.  Petry became one of the top defensemen in the CCHA, a conference well-known as one of the toughest playing environments in the NCAA.

Petry will finish his education at Michigan State before going on to become a stalwart on the blueline in Edmonton.

 



Petry
Gilbert
NCAA Career Games
114
162
NCAA Career Points
63
89
NCAA Career PPG
.552
.549
NCAA NHLE82 PPG
.494
.454

 

In mid-January, I admitted that I likely made mistake in my initial take on Jeff Petry.  Petry is following a frighteningly similar personal growth and career path to that of Tom Gilbert and the player comparison lines up about as perfectly as a prospect projector could hope.  If Petry finishes his career at Michigan State, expect him to spend half of a year in Oklahoma City before being called up.  The major difference in their careers will come once Petry reaches Edmonton.  Where Tom Gilbert had the steady hand of Charlie Huddy to teach him the finer points of the game, Petry is left to his own devices and Pat Quinn's 1-2-3-1-2-3 system.

To give you a sense of where Petry stands outside of the Gilbert comp, there are a few others like Alex Goligoski and Matt Gilroy.  Goligoski is an offense-first rearguard drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Gilroy was signed by the Rangers as a free agent out of Boston University.  He's playing the easiest competition that the Rangers have to offer and he's slightly outscoring.



Petry
Goligoski
Gilroy
NCAA Career Games
114
117
160
NCAA Career Points
63
98
92
NCAA Career PPG
.552
.708
.575
NCAA NHLE82 PPG
.494
837
.470

 

Petry is the highest of high-end college defensemen and will move quickly into the Oilers' lineup when he turns pro.  Like Gilbert he plays a game that should keep him healthy and ensure a long career.  The Oilers are likely two years away from finishing the season with Petry ensconced in the top six.  To use baseball parlance, Petry is a "five-tool" defender possessing skating ability, passing skills, a superior shot, size, and defensive skill.  The Oilers lack five-tool players in the organization and Petry should push up the depth chart quickly.  Actually, the Oilers lack four-tool players in the organization.

Petry was my most difficult prospect to rank and after finding the Gilroy and Gilbert comps, I thought about making him number two or three on my list.  But for the chance that the comps don't pan out, I now view him as one of the brightest spots in the organization.  In the end, I think four is the right spot for him.

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