The boys at Coming Down the Pipe are the experts when it comes to Oilers in the NCAA, so when the tell me that a deal is almost done that’s a pretty strong tell.
The Oilers badly need Petry to be a “complete” defenseman when he’s NHL ready. With the possible exception of recent hire Ryan Whitney, the club has a group of blueliners who can’t really be mixed and matched.
- Tom Gilbert is a quality finesse defenseman best matched with a more physical (and defensive) partner, which isn’t to say he can’t play defense, read plays or be in good position.
- Sheldon Souray is a tough veteran with grit and a mean streak. He also owns a cannon from the point, but his mobility issues mean there are possible partners on the club that don’t fit.
- Ladislav Smid is an unusal player. A tough blueliner with a lot of heart and grit, he has an alarming inability to actually defend himself. It looks like he’ll end up being a stay-at-home type with little offensive ability, once again meaning his D partner will need to be a very specific player-type.
All these kids, from Peckham to Chorney to Plante to Motin have some limitations in their scouting reports. Petry’s advantage is that he does appear to have a wide range of skills on a team with very little of it at any position.