I believe Petry is and will be a big part of this Oiler defense moving forward. With his ability to skate, move the puck and be good defensively he is a minute-eater. Every team needs these types of guys. He is good on both the power play and penalty kill.
He has not reached the ceiling for his development and Oilers fans should be very happy of that.
Petry joined me on the Jason Strudwick show last week and this is what he had to say.
How are you spending your time during the lockout? There is more time than I have had before that is for sure. I recently went home for two weeks; first time in a while I got to be home for American Thanksgiving and be with my parents. Outside of that I have been treating it like the offseason. I have been working out and continuing to skate a lot. I really want to stay in shape, we don’t know when we will be called back to work. It could be two days from now or two weeks.
With no exact starting point to prepare for is it harder mentally or physically to stay ready? I think it is a combination of both. In the summer you have a date set in your mind as to when you need to be ready. You got your workout plans laid out. Right now I have a plan but it is easier to get off schedule then it is in the summer. I always want to skate as much as possible but it is harder to find ice time.
You are from Michigan, is hockey a popular sport there? It is growing. It has definitely gotten bigger over the years. From when I started to now there is a lot more of it.
Are you the most unique player in the NHL in that your father, Dan Petry, played in the MLB? I am not 100% but I have been told that I am the only guy like that in the league.
How did you get into hockey considering with your dad playing baseball, that sport must have had a huge impact in your household? Baseball was the number one sport in our house growing up. My parents are both from California and moved to Michigan when my dad was playing for the Tigers. With hockey and baseball going in opposite seasons they got us playing both to keep us busy.
How did playing in the AHL help your game? It helped me a great deal. I was disappointed my first camp to get sent down to start the year. The coaching staff allowed me to develop by playing a lot of minutes. I was able to adjust to the professional lifestyle and the travel. It was definitely beneficial for me.
Have you had a chance to talk with Justin Schultz about the differences between college and professional hockey? I came to Edmonton only a few days before all the guys went down to the AHL so I didn’t get a lot of time with Justin. I did skate with him and he is a very talented player. That is obvious with the success he has had so far. He has and will transition well into the pro game.
Did you ever consider playing major junior hockey in Canada? Yes it did cross my mind. I played two years in the USHL. After my first year I had few teams come to me with some interest. But at that point I still had to mature physically and a lot of work to do on my game. Major Junior would have only given me two years to develop whereas college gave me four. The college route made sense.
I remember your first training camp, you did well but since then you have continued to improve. I don’t think you are near your ceiling yet but can you talk about your development so far in your young career. There is always room to grow. My first two years I am happy with the steps I took but still plenty of areas I want to work on. It is a matter of listening to the coaches’ advice and putting their suggestions into my game. I wanted together stronger so I worked on that this summer to put on size without losing quickness.
Where do you think you fit in with the Oilers moving forward? This team has a lot of young talent, that’s obvious night in and night out. I am not as young as some of the guys but I do have room to grow. I want to be a part of this team and see this team grow well past the rebuild stage.
What is it like playing with Ladi Smid and are you able to talk without him interrupting you? Ha! Yeah, he lets me squeeze in a few words! We do communicate very well on the ice. Before games we clarify our game plan. I am little more offensive and he is more physical; it is a good combination. He gives me the ability to jump up in the play. It is great to work with each other and off each other’s strengths.
What’s it like playing against the other teams’ top lines? I have to be ready both mentally and physically. Those top guys have so much skill. You can’t be in awe of their moves or reputations. You can’t take a shift off or think too much; that is when you will get burned. That is what they want to do.
Did you do a lot of power skating growing up? I did some growing up, but I still work on it. In the summers I worked with a guy while I was in college three days a week.
You lived with Ryan Jones last year. Did his love of hunting rub off on you? Yes it did. I actually bought a bow last year and we have been out hunting a lot this year!