Nic Petan needs more
ice time and the Jets need him to have more ice time, if they want to
push for the playoffs. The 21 year old can be a difference maker for the Jets, but only if
he is given more opportunity.
With Patrik Laine on the injured reserve, now is the time to give Petan a larger role again.
If you were to guess
who is 3rd on the Jets in Corsi For percentage, you may
guess Mark Scheifele, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Mathieu Perreault.
However, you may have guessed where I am leading you, Nic Petan sits
3rd in 5v5 situations for Corsi For percentage at 53.15%
on the Jets.
Currently, Petan is
slated to centre the 4th line and Andrew Copp and Chris
Thorburn are to be his wingers. Despite having a positive CF%, Petan being played on the 4th
line may be a result of poor point production, he currently has 1
goal and 9 assists.
However, if you look
at his shooting percentage, that should improve. Petan is only
shooting at 3.7%. When you look at the fact that last season’s shooting percentage was 8.96%, you have to expect Petan’s shooting percentage to improve. Which should point to more production with more opportunity.
Look at Petan’s junior numbers, people should expect his production to increase:
As well, as a first year pro, Petan was scoring at a .68 points per game pace in 47 AHL games, which is pretty good. Petan’s skills are translating to the pro game.
If you take a look at the shot chart below, you will notice that Petan is taking most of his shots from right in front of the net. This is a very good sign for Petan and his development because the goals will eventually come, if he continues to consistently take shots from right around the net.
Petan has some okay metrics in the NHL, nothing to write home about. But here’s the kicker, when Petan is given better linemates and more ice time, he has excelled. If you remember to earlier in the season, injuries forced Petan into a 2nd line centre role. This situation led to these two combinations:
These two combinations excelled at shot attempts when on the ice. The PWC line had a Corsi For percentage (CF%) of 59.72% in 5v5 minutes as well as a Fenwick For percentage (FF%) of 66.07%. The PWD line had a CF% of 69.39% and a FF% of 66.67%.
Now, remember these are small samples of ice time and as a result, we cannot come to concrete conclusions with them. However, they do point to the fact that Petan could provide the Jets with more scoring and better play overall, with an increase in ice time.
With Laine on the injured reserve, there’s no better time to see if Petan can make up for some of Laine’s production. Petan has typically been more of a playmaker and if he is given better line mates, then the points should start to come.
What could be a first step in increasing Petan’s ice time, is playing him more on the powerplay. He currently averages around 2.23 minutes of powerplay time. Petan is currently averaging just over 13 minutes of total ice time per game, so adding a little bit more of powerplay time shouldn’t hurt his play.
Petan has not let his 5′ 9″ frame stop him from going to the “gritty” areas to try to score. With time, he will continue to adapt to the NHL and bring a greater scoring touch to his game.
(Charts from hockeyviz.com and advanced stats from corsica.hockey.)