Previous Rank: 9th
Size is often the first thing that comes up when fans talk Nic Petan. That isn't to say his size is the most interesting topic, simply put - Petan has answered pretty well every other question. Nic Petan scores at rates usually reserved for top 10 picks. He is without a doubt one of the most dominant junior players in recent memory.
Petan lead the WHL in scoring as a 17 year old. He finished second (first in points per game) as an 18 year old. Should Petan return to junior this year he will once again be the favorite to win the scoring race. He will also be expected to carry his fair share of the mail for team Canada at the World Juniors after finishing last year's tournament among the top Canadian scorers.
Until Petan makes the leap to pro-hockey, we won't be able to glean much by watching him play. We can expect dominance and hope we don't see any injuries or setbacks. Apart from that it will largely be a waiting game for fans.
AIH Authors' Thoughts:
Nic is an assist making machine. He is extremely patient with the puck and he has incredible vision. He routinely finds awe inspiring passing lanes. After another dominant seasons in the WHL, there isn't much more for Petan to prove. He will likely be asked to shoulder a little more of the scoring load and take on a bigger leadership role if he sticks in the Dub. He will also make for some excited viewing come World Junior time.
Petan is a scary prospect for me, simply because he’s so small. Now, there is no question that he has an incredible skill set, as he was arguably the most talented player at the development camp this year, but my concern is that he kind of got lost in the mix during the scrimmage. How will he do against pros a full half-foot bigger than him? He’s dominated boys but I wonder if he can do the same against men. My optimism is very, very cautious.
Nic Petan is a player with risk due to his size, but (in my opinion) was a player where teams and scouts over estimated that risk. This caused Petan to be under valued, which worked out well for the Jets. Recently Petan was ranked 24th in Corey Pronman's Top 100 NHL Prospects, which I think is pretty fair. It's also pretty good for a non-first round pick.
While he may be small in size, Petan reminds me of a better skating Wellwood. Wellwood was able to cut a long career with his enormous IQ to make up for his size. Petan seems similar, but actually already skates better than Wellwood and is in much better shape. I'm pretty confident Petan will become a plus middle six player for the Jets.
2013 Top 25 Under 25 - Nic Petan
Prospect Tracker - Petan: Small frame, big game