Uncle

Lowetide
January 22 2011 08:37AM

Jeff Petry's independent scouting reports never matched the over the top verbal coming from the Oilers. That disconnect caused some of us (well, me) to miss the boat in regard to the long, tall Michigander. It's time to call uncle, because this kid would appear to have the toolkit, the brain and the desire.

Over the years I've monitored Oiler prospects over at Lowetide. The general idea is to take independent scouting reports, marry them to math (Desjardins equivalencies) and then track these prospects against players who have come before a specific prospect. I always look for a player of a similar age and one who has played at the same level at that age.

In regard to Petry, we never did get a very good outside scouting report. Maybe that was the key. The best scouting report I saw was from Guy Flaming at Coming Down the Pipe:

  • "Petry is a smart two-way defenseman who is an excellent skater with good mobility, which he uses to shut down opponents. The 6’2.5, 176-pound Petry plays with an edge and can lay out some good hits. He also doesn’t mind battling in front of the net. Offensively, Petry has a cannon for a point shot, but often uses a wrist shot as well so that it does not get blocked and does not allow the goaltender to set up. Petry also uses his skating and stick skills to make accurate passes out of the zone or to skate the puck up himself, which he has the speed and stickhandling to do."

Petry quickly became Flaming's #1 prospect (article here) but I kept reading items about skating and consistency. His college coach Rick Gormley:

  •  "I thought that on some nights he was our best player and other nights, he played more like a freshman."

Added to his skating, I felt there were better prospects in the system. I want to be clear about this: I wasn't dumping on Petry, he was in around #7 on most of my winter lists after his draft day:

The 2010 ranking has more to do with the enormous 2010 entry draft than anything Petry did wrong. Anyway, as you can see I never did rank Petry at the top (as Flaming did all down the line).

Why? Well, I've kind of answered it above but want to go into a little more detail. There were three main reasons:

  • He was old for a prospect by the time he turned pro. Petry turned 23 years old after game 26 of his first full AHL season. Petry is the same age as Theo Peckham, he's 6 months younger than Andrew Cogliano. Jeff Petry is 20 months older than Sam Gagner. Ladislav Smid is about 2 years older than Jeff Petry and is currently in his 5th NHL season.
  • The skating issues and the college coach. I think the Oilers have had a strong enough group through these years that two negatives would imo disqualify anyone from the top spot.
  • The source of the positive verbal--and I mean no disrespect to Guy Flaming or anyone associated with the Edmonton Oilers--was usually Kevin Prendergast. Now, I've written a bunch about Kevin Prendergast over the years and I do think his draft record is much better than he's been given credit for by fans and critics. However, KP loved all of his picks and they were all splendid and going to the HHOF one day. He was not a credible source for Oiler prospects, and I suspect much of what Guy was telling us came from KP or another Oiler scout. That's why I try to acquire outside sources.

Having said all of that, uncle. The young man looks calm, cool and collected. He's talented, can skate very well and has the look of a guy who will help his team win for years to come.

Good for him.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 22 2011, 03:14PM
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edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY wrote:

Ok so that applies to Moreau and 12. What about Staios, Jones, not panicking on souray? How about finally having a competitive farm team (or even having our own to begin with)? A rebuild starts at the bottom, the last thing we should see is having a good team in the oilers. Sustainability comes from the farm. Signing Giroux, Belle, Gerber were all great moves so that the young guys don't come up as losers like we always had before.

Bad moves : 35 ...granted but off the books when we need the money 26 - 1.8 is nothing. Check out some other duds; Sarich, Redden, Commodore. Much worse off, we only have 26 for another year

16 - .825 is hardly anything to care about. Also off next year

We got nice "trade value" for Staios, but realistically it's likely to yield 0 results, and given that we didn't need the cap space for anything it was pretty much a pointless move.

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#52 The Beaker
January 22 2011, 03:23PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

it was worth just not having to watch Staios this year.

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#53 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 22 2011, 03:32PM
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The Beaker wrote:

it was worth just not having to watch Staios this year.

He still would have arguably been our 4th-5th best Dman.

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#54 The Beaker
January 22 2011, 03:36PM
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Arguably.

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#55 edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY
January 22 2011, 03:55PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So Chicago and Pittsburgh dressed a lineup of kids and scrubs did they?

Penguins during Crosby's first year also included:

Gonchar Recchi Leclair Palffy Mario freaking Lemieux In fact, they played 16 different players 30 or older during the year.

Balckhawks during Kane and Toews rookie season included:

Lang Perrault LaPointe Sopel Samsonov Havlat Vandermeer Jason Williams

The point here is that these teams didn't just up and say "screw it we are drafting players and nothing else" They played veterans alongside their youth to fill out the roster and to teach them how to play.

I would actually argue that these teams were successful because they didn't simply tank and pray. They tried to fill out the roster around their youth, while the other teams you mentioned did not.

I would also argue a lot of luck was involved.

Recchi was traded, palffy retired half way through the year, mario played 26 games. Also keep in mind that Crosby wasn't already had top picks playing there in Whitney, Armstrong, MA fleury, Christensen and Malkin in their back pocket. If we still suck next year then yes, this is a comparable.

Same with Chicago, they already had toews, Keith, Seabrook. Kane was the last piece of the puzzle and they still weren't that good his first year. Again, use the oilers next year with (couturier, lands, Lars, or RNH).

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F%3Fhl%3Den%26tab%3Dw1%26gl%3DCA&tab=w1&hl=en&gl=CA#/watch?client=mv-google&v=agL3NHgb8Rk

Watch this clip and tell me Pitt didn't suck lol. Not trying to pump you, just want to make sure were comparing the same things. I'll want Tambos head if we don't progress next year to contend for the playoffs closely. Year following contending for the div.

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#56 edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY
January 22 2011, 04:24PM
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@Wanye

WAYNE!!!!!!! The nation has lost their focus on ELPH. At the game Thursday people were upset at the loss!!

We weren't even losing until the 2nd and within a goal till the last minute. That is ELPH. Pleeeeeeease write a refocus piece! NJ is on fire and NYI is stayin strong. We got this!!

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#57 Scott in Grande Prairie
January 22 2011, 04:47PM
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So, Lowetide, it sorta sounds like from up here that "marrying the math" to the player and pulling out a ranking out of the scout-o-meter didn't exactly work well this time around, eh?

You mean there's more to a player than sabremetrics?

Huh. Who-da-thunk-it?

(Don't worry, Lowetide - just havin' a little fun with ya :) )

Anyway, it's probably a bit early to big making too many declarations on Petry, but I think either you or J-Willis (or maybe Brownlee?) deserve some kudos.

One of you, not too long ago, basically predicted that when Petry got called up from OK City, it would be the last he'd ever see of the American Hockey League.

Nothing that I've seen so far with Petry suggests he's going back down. He looks better than Gilbert did after his first call-up in mid 2006-07 (do I have that year right?).

Petry is the bonus player of Year 1 (or 1.5 or whatever it is) of the Rebuild.

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#58 Jagrbaum
January 22 2011, 05:12PM
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The Super Skills was super fun MPS had suchhhhhha dirty shoot out goal woo

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#59 forestscooter
January 22 2011, 05:38PM
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This is getting exciting. Finish last and draft Larsson. We have Whitney, Larsson, Gilbert, Peckam, Petry, a few veterans and prospects. Sounds like a defense. Add our second round picks and we have a team.. please develop these players properly !! NHL and otherwise.

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#60 Shaun Doe
January 22 2011, 07:53PM
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So was Khabby taking a maintenance day for the skills comp or was there another reason for missing the fun?

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#61 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 22 2011, 08:13PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

So was Khabby taking a maintenance day for the skills comp or was there another reason for missing the fun?

~mental prep day for his trip to tent city this summer?~

too soon?

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#62 Harlie
January 22 2011, 09:28PM
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interesting remake..

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/captain_america/pictures/?i=1383&p=1

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#63 Bank Shot
January 22 2011, 10:25PM
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Scott in Grande Prairie wrote:

So, Lowetide, it sorta sounds like from up here that "marrying the math" to the player and pulling out a ranking out of the scout-o-meter didn't exactly work well this time around, eh?

You mean there's more to a player than sabremetrics?

Huh. Who-da-thunk-it?

(Don't worry, Lowetide - just havin' a little fun with ya :) )

Anyway, it's probably a bit early to big making too many declarations on Petry, but I think either you or J-Willis (or maybe Brownlee?) deserve some kudos.

One of you, not too long ago, basically predicted that when Petry got called up from OK City, it would be the last he'd ever see of the American Hockey League.

Nothing that I've seen so far with Petry suggests he's going back down. He looks better than Gilbert did after his first call-up in mid 2006-07 (do I have that year right?).

Petry is the bonus player of Year 1 (or 1.5 or whatever it is) of the Rebuild.

Statistics work much better for forwards. At the NHL level its easier to get a read on D-men through stats because everything is at your disposal.

In juniors, collge, europe, etc you just get boxcars which don't tell you much about a defender IMO.

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#64 Bank Shot
January 22 2011, 10:25PM
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Scott in Grande Prairie wrote:

So, Lowetide, it sorta sounds like from up here that "marrying the math" to the player and pulling out a ranking out of the scout-o-meter didn't exactly work well this time around, eh?

You mean there's more to a player than sabremetrics?

Huh. Who-da-thunk-it?

(Don't worry, Lowetide - just havin' a little fun with ya :) )

Anyway, it's probably a bit early to big making too many declarations on Petry, but I think either you or J-Willis (or maybe Brownlee?) deserve some kudos.

One of you, not too long ago, basically predicted that when Petry got called up from OK City, it would be the last he'd ever see of the American Hockey League.

Nothing that I've seen so far with Petry suggests he's going back down. He looks better than Gilbert did after his first call-up in mid 2006-07 (do I have that year right?).

Petry is the bonus player of Year 1 (or 1.5 or whatever it is) of the Rebuild.

Statistics work much better for forwards. At the NHL level its easier to get a read on D-men through stats because everything is at your disposal.

In juniors, collge, europe, etc you just get boxcars which don't tell you much about a defender IMO.

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#65 Death Metal Nightmare
January 22 2011, 10:42PM
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can we get some CORSI or sabermetrics (ported to hockey through my Coleco ADAM computer) on this dude before i really make my decision?

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#66 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 23 2011, 12:04AM
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Death Metal Nightmare wrote:

can we get some CORSI or sabermetrics (ported to hockey through my Coleco ADAM computer) on this dude before i really make my decision?

What's the point? You are incapable of understanding them anyways.

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#67 Racki
January 23 2011, 12:19AM
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I made an effort to watch Jeff Petry a few times on Big10 (a channel most people aren't even aware we get, which shows College hockey on occasion) because I had heard some good things about him. And well, having only seen 3 games of him in College isn't much of a case for knowing what kind of player he is, but I think you can tell that he's a guy that plays with a LOT of poise (you even see it in his NHL game currently).

He struggled at the time with positioning though. Or what I should say is, at the College level, he roamed all over the defensive zone which I'm not so sure would work at the NHL level. That's not to say he wouldn't learn how to change how he plays D though.

On the positive side, I noticed him jumping up as a 4th forward with a lot of frequency. Quite frankly, in a lot of cases he was LEADING the rush, not joining it. He was quite physical with players in the crease area and threw some nice hits in various areas of ice. He also was a strong powerplay quarterback, as well as a shutdown specialist.

He's one of the players who's been near the top of my list of top prospects in our system for about a year now. Living in the shadows of Gagner, Paajarvi, Hall, Eberle, etc. has allowed him to be a big surprise for us fans.

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#68 PaperDesigner
January 23 2011, 12:39AM
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Don't beat yourself up Lowetide. Petry came out of nowhere; who could have possibly predicted that a big, mobile, intelligent, crisp-passing defenseman with a big shot in an organization that's paper thin on defence could possibly make it to the NHL?

Sorry if I'm rubbing it in. But other than a poor year (which almost every player has gone through at some point), was there ever really a chink in Petry's armor? His resume simply screamed "on track" all the way through.

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#69 Thailand Oilfan
January 23 2011, 08:05AM
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Nice article Lowtide, long time listener first time caller, my question is was the Petry pick in 2006 the compensation pick we received for not signing Niinimaki?

I also think I remember one of the Oiler brass, can't remember which one but more than likely KP, saying that even if they had a first round pick that year they would have taken Petry with it, I think the pick they traded away for Roloson turned out to be around 16-17, so the Oilers were pretty high on him right from the start if they would have taken him that high.

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#70 TigerUnderGlass
January 23 2011, 10:03AM
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edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY wrote:

Recchi was traded, palffy retired half way through the year, mario played 26 games. Also keep in mind that Crosby wasn't already had top picks playing there in Whitney, Armstrong, MA fleury, Christensen and Malkin in their back pocket. If we still suck next year then yes, this is a comparable.

Same with Chicago, they already had toews, Keith, Seabrook. Kane was the last piece of the puzzle and they still weren't that good his first year. Again, use the oilers next year with (couturier, lands, Lars, or RNH).

http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F%3Fhl%3Den%26tab%3Dw1%26gl%3DCA&tab=w1&hl=en&gl=CA#/watch?client=mv-google&v=agL3NHgb8Rk

Watch this clip and tell me Pitt didn't suck lol. Not trying to pump you, just want to make sure were comparing the same things. I'll want Tambos head if we don't progress next year to contend for the playoffs closely. Year following contending for the div.

Either you didn't get the point, or you don't care, but ok, I'll bite.

Of course these teams were still bad. Any team who's core is essentially a bunch of kids will be bad. That has NOTHING to do with my point.

The point is that these teams still filled out their rosters even if the core wasn't going to win them a cup yet. The teams that are perennially bad either do not or do it badly.

Absolutely nothing you talk about here addresses my point in any way.

I would like to mention as a side note: There is a lot of benefit gained from having so many great hockey blogs on the Oilers, but one annoying side effect is other people throwing out words like "comparables" at every possible opportunity without having a solid grasp on what the word means.

Can I please point out that it is possible to compare specific aspects of players or teams without that player or team being exactly the same in every other way too?

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#71 edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY
January 23 2011, 11:16AM
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@TigerUnderGlass

I understand what you're trying to say, thanks for reiterating it though. I know that you do not want to see any other point but your own so dismissing someone elses opinion is really easy but my point again is that the penguins when they got crosby were FURTHER along in the rebuild then the oilers are now.

Check out the 2003-2004 penguins: Players over 30 on their team that weren't traded include: Mike Eastwood, Mario Lemieux for 10 gms, Kelly Buchburger, and everyones favorite sniper, Steve McKenna!

Tricky Dick led their team in scoring followed by: Morozov, Malone and Milan Kraft.

Tell me about filling out your roster? In a previous post I said that we need to tank this year and get our top 3 again and then next year spend some cap dollars to "fill out our roster" and compete for the playoffs. Year following, the division.

PS - talking about the oilers is not a personal attack. I get that our team blows right now but it will be worth it and we can all go high five each other on whyte again

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#72 TigerUnderGlass
January 23 2011, 10:06PM
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edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY wrote:

I understand what you're trying to say, thanks for reiterating it though. I know that you do not want to see any other point but your own so dismissing someone elses opinion is really easy but my point again is that the penguins when they got crosby were FURTHER along in the rebuild then the oilers are now.

Check out the 2003-2004 penguins: Players over 30 on their team that weren't traded include: Mike Eastwood, Mario Lemieux for 10 gms, Kelly Buchburger, and everyones favorite sniper, Steve McKenna!

Tricky Dick led their team in scoring followed by: Morozov, Malone and Milan Kraft.

Tell me about filling out your roster? In a previous post I said that we need to tank this year and get our top 3 again and then next year spend some cap dollars to "fill out our roster" and compete for the playoffs. Year following, the division.

PS - talking about the oilers is not a personal attack. I get that our team blows right now but it will be worth it and we can all go high five each other on whyte again

It isn't that I don't want to see other points. I'm an academic. I love other points.

What I dislike are rebuttals that don't even address the original point.

I don't believe they were further along. We have just as many core players as they did. We just have management that refuses to fill holes.

There is no reason this team shouldn't be looking for a playoff spot next year, but not the way this team is being assembled.

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