In the last couple of weeks I’ve talked about some possible callups from the Barons, specifically Chris Vande Velde and Theo Peckham. Although the Barons will have some other good young options for callup, the most interesting player in the group is probably Jeff Petry.

Let me begin by saying I don’t think the Oilers will keep Petry in the NHL to start the season. Tom Renney, right after being hired, said this about the young college man: "We have to make sure–even with a player who has been very impressive here–as more of an adult looking player here at this camp; Jeff is not an NHLer today. It’s not the wrong thing for us to make sure he goes to Oklahoma City, so he can get a feel for the physical nature of the game. We can expect too much of this player who is so good in so many areas, and then three months from now we’re saying ‘what happened?’ Well let’s not go there."

That quote married to Steve Tambellini’s stated goal of having prospects hit a specific set of stops along the way suggests Dan Petry’s son is going to see some time in Oklahoma. Having said that, Petry is a mobile defender with the widest range of skills on the "bubbling under" roster. The team can address toughness with newly acquired Jim Vandermeer and Peckham, so depending on need Petry might see a callup sometime in 2010-11.

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Petry’s Desjardins’ NHL equivalencies blossomed last season. Here are the numbers by year (age in brackets):

  • 2-17-19 (20)
  • 2-10-12 (21)
  • 4-22-26 (22)

You might be thinking 22-years old is long in the tooth for a college prospect, but that in fact is a fairly typical age for that league (which is why sending 18-year old kids into the fray is perhaps unwise). We can see that Petry has sufficient offense to be termed a "2-way" defender when taking into account his defensive ability.

And it is those defensive sorties that he’ll be working on in the AHL. Read and react, learning to pass up the big hit in favor of positioning, learning how tough it is to move motivated AHL regulars from the spot they’ve occupied and generally having the game slow down enough to play it well at speed. It takes some players a long time, and in light of the failed Taylor Chorney experiment I think the Oilers will be doubly cautious.

In the winter of 2009 I wrote the following: 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.

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Two things have changed since then: Petry had a poor college season and then recovered with a very good one. And the Edmonton Oilers may have lost a very high draft pick (Chorney) to the chaos that is learning the position. As soon as Jeff Petry can quiet the nerves and the noises, as soon as he can stop be a "saloon doors" chaos defender in the AHL, he’ll be in the NHL.

It could happen later this season.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I really hope that guys like Petry earn their job instead of being handed a job because of injuries. It just doesn’t seem that throwing guys into the mix when they should be learning the game in the AHL has worked yet.

  • EasyOil

    Definitely looking forward to seeing Petry make the show, but the whole Chorney episode (I still have hopes for him as well though) makes me nervous with regards to college blueliners.

    On a seperate note, LT do you know if the oilers/barons plan on having Rob Hisey on the farm? Seemed like he played well when called up from Tulsa last year…

  • Lowetide

    EasyOil: I’ve checked but can’t get an answer. A more connected to the Oilers type like Robin might be a better help with that question.

    Hisey certainly did impress.

  • My limited and unprofessional review on Petry (based on watching him some games this season) was that he does bring a little bit of everything (a lot in some cases). He was aggressive, he was strong in front of his net, he had a nice shot, and he was a SPECTACULAR puck carrier (definitely not afraid to lead the rush). But I’m not sure if it’s just because it works at the College level, or what, but I found he wandered around the defensive zone a LOT. Spending some time in OKC where there is less pressure to learn positioning and to find out what works and what doesn’t at a higher level definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing. Also, adjusting to over 2x the amount of hockey definitely will help as well, as I’m sure at some point in the near future, he could end up eating a lot of minutes if he ends up as good as he’s projected to be.

    Anyways, I’m pretty about excited about him.. almost as much as our top forward rookies. Hopefully he at least gets a few games with the big club this year. I would imagine he might get a few during TC, at the least, so we should get a little preview of what he can do at this level.

    • Mike Modano's Dog

      Thanks a lot for passing on your personal account of Petry based on what you saw, Racki. I really like hearing that stuff in person, as well as the regular scouting reports, as well! Awesome to hear!! (Just out of curiousity how do you get to all those games, or do you mainly watch them on television?) Me, I end up watching them all on t.v. except for the training camps locally…but one thing I haven’t started doing yet is watching the college games.

      Thanks again for another solid prospect report, L.T., keep up the great work!

  • Petry looked a bit slow in some of his reads at Prospects Camp. He’s a better prospect than Chorney — who some were gaga over a few years back — but he’s going to need a full year in the AHL.

    I’d rather see the Oil call up this year’s version of Arsene than suffer watching another overwhelmed kid.

  • @ Lowetide,

    Jeff Petry is eerly similar to Matt Carle.

    Petry is one of those “late birthday’s” but their stats are very comparable.

    Drafted 2nd round 45th & 47th USHL points 42 & 45 Freshman year NCAA pts 24 & 25

    Denver was stacked & Carle played 30mins regularly.

    If Petry can become a top4 20-24mins & 30pts NHL’er that’d be fantastic.

    82 Game schedule will be his toughest obstacle.