Lately, the only thing more frustrating than seeing Patrik Laine struggle to snipe home goals is seeing how the Winnipeg Jets are dealing with forward Nic Petan. It’s to the point now where as just a straight up hockey fan and someone who likes to see young players given every kind of chance to succeed, I want to see the Jets trade Nic Petan.
If not for the Jets to get something (anything) for him, then for Nic himself who has now been a healthy scratch for the last 17 Jets games. The last two games have been especially cruel as Jack Roslovic and then Bryan Little were game-time decisions and gave Petan a chance to at least take in the pre-game skate, only to be told almost last minute both times that his services were not needed.
We can all sit here and debate if he should or shouldn’t be in the lineup over a player like Brendan Lemieux or Brandon Tanev, but how does anyone really know if we never get to see him on the ice for NHL action? Even if he does get put on the ice, throwing him into the first of post all-star game competition after a handful of weeks away from it is flat unreasonable and it’s asking a lot of a player to come out and perform and produce results.
Petan doesn’t have any real trade value – how could he at this point? Outside of the talking points of him being a 23 year old (aka: still young enough to be considered a prospect) pending restricted free agent (aka: under team control for at least a couple of seasons depending on the deal signed) there isn’t much more that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could point to in order to generate interest.
Petan would likely have to be part of a package deal to get anything worthwhile in return. With the Jets rumored to be in the market for a top six forward and a depth defenseman, Petan and the Jets first round pick for 2019 seems like a solid foundation of a trade to build on and at this point if the Jets do pull the trigger on a deal – especially for a center – and Petan isn’t one of the pieces being sent the other way, it will feel like a bit of a disappointment.
We here at JetsNation have been on the “Nic Petan is good” bandwagon for some time. In the last couple of years, we’ve gone from “hey, Nic Petan should get more playing time” to “hey, Nic Petan probably isn’t being used correctly” to “Well at least he’s doing good things in the AHL, right?”
Now though? Please, just trade him. He’s 23 and still could have a productive NHL career in front of him as long as the Jets haven’t completely sabotaged it by keeping him in the press box. He’s not going to be a top six forward (at least, it doesn’t seem like he’ll be) but maybe he gets a better chance with another team.
He could turn out to be the next Joel Armia who has had a productive season in Montreal despite it being cut down with injury. He could turn out to be the next Alex Burmistrov or Marko Dano, hints of potential for greater things, but never turning out the way many fans expected.
Either way, the Jets owe it to us and most of all to Petan to send him on his way to another team and let him find out.