We are in the dregs of summer, so we take a critical look at the Winnipeg Jets organizational cupboards and highlight who we feel are the Jets’ “Top 20 Prospects” when looking at a combination of potential and probability of positive impact for the franchise.
We continue our prospect profile to the brilliant hockey mind that is Nic Petan.
|Age: 21||Position: C/LW|
|Height: 5’9″||Weight: 179 lbs|
|Draft Year: 2013||Round: Second|
To say Nic Petan dominated the WHL would be an understatement. Over 252 games, Petan averaged 1.42 points per game as a de facto centre. In fact, Petan is in the top 50 of all-time WHL scorers, removing those with over 300 games to eliminate some players who played multitude of seasons prior to “The Dub” not having an age limit.
The 5’9 forward made the NHL as a rookie on the Jets’ fourth line that didn’t seem to have a clear role. The line had Petan playing out of position with a shutdown rookie centre in Andrew Copp and a past-his-prime, former pugilist, veteran Chris Thorburn. The line unsurprisingly did not do well; Petan was eventually sent down to the minors, with the forward carrying a 38.6 percent Corsi and -16.6 rel Corsi.
In the AHL Petan dominated on a struggling team. The player’s 0.702 points per game led the Moose for those who played 20 or more games by a large margin. Petan’s point per game pace relative to team scoring rate was the highest of any AHL rookie since the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, and was one of the highest for under-21 players in the AHL that season. Before being called up, Petan was even challenging for team lead in points, despite playing 20 fewer games than most.
After Petan returned to the NHL, he was placed more in a role fitting of the forward, with players that could receive his passes and often playing in his natural centre position. Petan’s numbers made a dynamic shift, posting a 55.0 percent Corsi and +9.15 relative Corsi. The before and after call-up numbers could not be more white-and-black.
Petan is a gifted player. His greatest asset is his ability to think the game. As one of the smartest players to hit the ice, Petan both defends and scores by knowing what players will do before those players even make the decision to do so. Petan wins puck battles before they start by getting to the areas where the puck will be just before the puck or the forechecker/defender gets there.
His elite IQ, vision, and passing combination makes Petan into a playmaker by typecasting, but he has an increadibly accurate wrist shot and can find small holes that goaltenders are inable to cover up. While small, Petan does not fear larger players. The 5’9 centre was infamous in the WHL for angering his opponents to the referree completely unaware of what occured.
Petan’s advantage with his ability to quickly read the game causes him to constantly try to slow things down, to a fault at times. This consistently slowing the game down causes many to think Petan as slow, while he actually has a fairly high top-gear and is increadibly shifty.
According to the pGPS model, 132 skaters have had statistically comparable seasons at similar height and age to Nic Petan, where 42 of those went on to playing the NHL for more than 200 game careers. Even more interesting is that 34 of those 42 peaked as top-nine foreards, giving Petan both a high probability of playing in the NHL as a regular and with high upside.
We swapped Josh Morrissey and Nic Petan in our prospect profiles this year due to Petan successfully playing a stretch as a plus-player in the NHL while also being relatively speaking a better player for their team on the Moose, despite both seeming to be potentially very strong middle-of-the-roster players.
Jets Nation Prospect Profiles
- #5 – Josh Morrissey
- #6 – Jack Roslovic
- #7 – Eric Comrie
- #8 – Brendan Lemieux
- #9 – Logan Stanley
- #10 – Luke Green
- #11 – Michael Spacek
- #12 – Jansen Harkins
- #13 – Tucker Poolman
- #14 – Sami Niku
- #15 – Chase De Leo
- #16 – JC Lipon
- #17 – Scott Kosmachuk
- #18 – Brenden Kichton
- #19 – Jan Kostalek
- #20 – Appleton, Foley, Franklin