Jeff Petry had a terrible season a year ago. Seriously it was an exceptionally bad year, especially considering he was in fact a 20-year old sophomore at usually powerful Michigan State. However, it was only one year and this season things are looking much brighter.
Petry is a big man (6.03, 200) with speed and mobility, works hard and can win puck battles. He’s a plus passer and a workhorse, spending as much as 30 minutes a night on the State blue. The Oilers love him, they spent some time gushing over him as he was on the way to a diabolical -31 (on a -53 team) during the 08-09 season.
For those of us who are cynical about Petry, his junior season (09-10) would need to be a good one. He’d likely be a workhorse again but that -31 and poor offensive totals (38gp, 2-12-14) would need improvement.
Petry’s had a very nice start to the year. In 16gp, he’s 1-12-13 and his +1 is in much better range on a +6 team. In fact, assuming he’s playing tough opposition that’s a good number so far this year.
How good will he be offensively? In 96 career games in the NCAA, Petry has scored 6-45-51 (.531). This compares with Tom Gilbert, who went 119gp, 21-37-58 (.487) during his first three NCAA seasons. Here are their junior seasons run up against Desjardins NHLE:
- Petry 82gp, 2-25-27
- Gilbert 82gp, 7-7-14
The following season (his senior year) Gilbert’s NHLE was 9-15-24 so he certainly had the offense in college. Petry–should he stay on course this year–will have at least answered the offensive questions about him.
- (Age 19) 42gp, 3-21-24 (.571)
- (Age 20) 38gp, 2-12-14 (.368)
- (Age 21) 16gp, 1-12-13 (.813)
Hey, this is early in the season and there are many games to go. But credit where due, Jeff Petry has answered some questions this season and as such belongs in that group of players outside the top 5 (the sure things) and in the group of 3 or 4 “possibles” to have an NHL career. After last season, that’s a helluva comeback.