Meet The New Guy: Jeff Petry

On March 2nd, 2015, the day of the NHL Trade Deadline, the Montreal Canadiens acquire Defensemen Jeff  Petry from the Edmonton Oilers, for a 2nd & 5th (conditional) draft pick. (hockey.dobber.com)

On March 2nd, 2015, on the Morning of the NHL Trade Deadline, the Montreal Canadiens acquire Defenseman Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers, for a 2nd & 5th (conditional) draft pick. (hockey.dobber.com)

 

When the news broke, that the Canadiens aqcuired highly-sought after defenseman Jeff Petry, the majority of Montreal fans were thrilled. When they heard the price it cost to bring him in? Even happier.

As much as Habs fans are excited to have the right-hand shooting Petry into the lineup, most Hab faithfuls, don’t know much about him. Bringing him in will solidify the Canadiens back-end moving forward, in hopes of making a deep playoff run.

Meet The New Guy: 

 

Jeff Petry is a 27 year old, Ann Arbor Massachusetts native. He comes in at 6′ 3″, and roughly 200 lbs. Also, he is the son of former MLB Pitcher, Dan Petry. He has sent parts of 5 seasons in the NHL, taking part in 296 career games – Spending 295 of those with the Edmonton Oilers, and just 2 so far with the Canadiens.

USHL/College:

 

Early in his career, Jeff spent three years playing varsity hockey at St. Mary’s Preperatory, before leaving just prior to his senior year, to join the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. That same year, Petry and the Buccaneers went on to win the Tier 1 National Championship. In 2007, he accepted a scholarship to play college hockey at Michagen State, in the CCHA. He was named to the All-Rookie team in his freshman year.

AHL/NHL:

 

Petry playing in the AHL. Soruce: (lowtide.ca

Petry playing in the AHL. Soruce: (lowtide.ca)

The following Summer, is when Jeff Petry’s road to the NHL truly began. In the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, with the 45th overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers selected then, 18 year old, Jeff Petry. Moving forward some years, on the 10th of March, in the year 2010, Jeff was inked to his first NHL contract, with of course, the Edmonton Oilers. Shortly after, he was assigned to the Oilers affiliate at the time, the Springfield Falcons. He took part in his first professional game on March 26th of that same year. Petry went on to play 8 more games in the AHL that season. Petry stepped on the ice for his first NHL game on December 28th, 2010, in a game vs. the Buffalo Sabres. In this game, he also recorded his first NHL point. A secondary assist coming off a goal scored by teammate Ryan Jones. Less than a month later, on January 20th, the 22 year old Petry recorded his first NHL goal against the Dallas Stars. The 2011-12 season is when Petry began to come to his own in the NHL. Paired with Ladislav Smid in a shutdown role, Jeff also led the whole Oilers D-core with 25 points. He was then rewarded in July, with a 2-year deal, worth 3.4 million dollars.

International: 

 

After the Oilers were eliminated from the 2012 NHL Playoffs, Petry was granted the opportunity to play for the United States in the 2012 World Hockey Championship. He put up an impressive 5 points in 8 games, with a +4 +/- rating. He went on to rack up 17 more World Championship games in the following two tournaments,  putting up a respectful 4 points. In the 2013 tournament, Petry and new Canadiens teammate Alex Galchenyuk, brought home a bronze medal for the USA.

What does he bring?

 

Enough about his past. The question all Habs fans are asking – What will he bring to the Canadiens lineup?

Since his early days in Edmonton, Petry has always been known for his quick feet, and puck moving ability. But,  with his 6’3″ frame, he’s able to throw his body around when needed. Realistically, we can expect he steps into a Top-4 role with the Habs. In his first first game with the club, he was used for a little over 18 minutes (18:15), and was bumped up to more than 20 in his second game vs. the Ducks (20:46). With little time with the team, and under coach Michel Therrien, these are encouraging numbers.

Petry's first game in a Canadiens uniform. Soruce: (montrealgaztte.com)

Petry’s first game in a Canadiens uniform. Soruce: (montrealgaztte.com)

Here’s a little insight from Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin:

“We think he’ll be in the right spot [in the lineup] here in Montreal,” Bergevin said. “P.K. and [Markov] fill a very important role on our team. Petry will still have an important role here, but it might be a better spot for him. He’s a good defenseman who skates very well and makes a good first pass. You can’t have enough players like that on a team.” (Source: Arpon Basu – LHN.com)

 

Never known for his amazing point getting potential, but Petry is equipped with a powerful shot, and has put up 4 goals, and 11 assists with a struggling Oilers team so far this season.

Petry on himself:

“I pride myself on my foot speed and my quickness”  (Source: Arpon Basu – LHN.com)

 

In terms of “Fancy Stats”, Petry has shown positive numbers throughout this season. No easy task while playing for a botton seeded team. Also note, Petry is was put up against top competition, every game this season as an Oiler. In Montreal, he should have less pressure for top opposing forces from opposite teams.

 

Lets take a look at his “HERO” chart (Horizontal Evaluative Rankings Optic), from Own The Puck: (Make sure to click visual to enhance viewing).

Source: (ownthepuck.com)

Source: (ownthepuck.com)

In comparison, lets take a look at Habs Alexei Emelin. Again, from Own The Puck: (Make sure to click on visual to enhance viewing).

g

Source: (ownthepuck.com)

As shown, Petry practically rules Emelin in all categories. Analytics are becoming more and more important in the NHL. These numbers (Corsi%, Fenwick%, etc.), and taking a look at Petry’s numbers compared to Emelin’s (Who isn’t known for great number, used more for his physical ability), It’s fairly obvious who the superior of the two is.

This upgrade is encouraging, and should leave many Habs fans happy, and excited about the remainder of the season, and into the NHL Playoffs.

 

As we look back on Jeff’s play, and experience, how he will turn out in Montreal is still unknown. Realistically, we can expect him to log around 20 minutes per night, with a puck moving upside. He will most likely play in a Top 4 role, and will be a more important player going forward for the Habs, than some people realize. He solidifies the back-end, which is more than important during the NHL Playoffs.

Welcome to the Mecca of Hockey, Jeff.

 

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