Player: Nicolas Petan
Drafted By: Winnipeg Jets (43rd overall)
Final Central Scouting Ranking: No. 33 North American skater
Height/Weight: 5'9'', 165 lbs
DOB: March 22, 1995 (18 years old)
Most Recent Affiliation: WHL, Portland Winterhawks
Nicolas Petan has been a point-producing machine at every level of competition so far. He made his WHL debut as a 15-year-old in 2010-11, skating in three regular-season games and seven postseason contests for the Portland Winterhawks.
After a quiet rookie season in 2011-12 in which he scored 35 points in 61 games, Petan absolutely erupted in 2013. He went on a rampage through 71 games, scoring a massive 120 points en route to tying teammate Brendan Leipsic for the league scoring title.
Full Scouting Report
Despite his small stature, all Petan has done is score truckloads of points everywhere along the line. The point totals are no fluke—this is a kid that can flat-out play. His offensive instincts are downright impressive, and he plays much bigger than his 5'9'' frame would indicate.
He's not afraid to go to the dirty areas to score goals, but that's not where Petan is at his best. He's a beast when you give him a little time and space, and it doesn't take him long to kick it into high gear when he skates through the neutral zone.
@HockeyNow Nicolas Petan for me. Elite talent who I think has a chance to be a very good player.— Craig Button (@CraigJButton) June 22, 2013
His acceleration is well above average, and Petan has a cannon for a shot. The release is excellent, and he's capable of firing off pucks at a dangerous velocity from anywhere on the ice.
NHL Player Comparison
Jordan Eberle of the Edmonton Oilers. Petan's skill set is very reminiscent to that of the Oilers' young phenom. Both are small-ish players that rely heavily on speed and an outstanding shot to break through defenses.
On Nicolas Petan: "He's elusive and doesn't play his [5-8.8, 163] size." Finished tied for WHL lead with 120 pts (46 gls) in 71 gms.— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) April 5, 2013
It'll take Petan at least until the 2014-15 season to tack on the muscle needed to hack it in the NHL; 165 pounds is way, way too light to hang against even the smallest competition at that level.
While the NHL is a skill league, bigger players still tend to run the show. Petan has some serious obstacles to overcome to get there, but he has all the talent needed to be an affective top-six forward at the pro level.