Monday, September 25, 2017

Nicolas Petan Jersey Card

I totally expect the Winnipeg Jets to make the playoffs - albeit as the West's Second Wild Card, playing out of division in the postseason - but they are more than ready to take the next logical step and win a game in the playoffs. Because, yes, this current iteration of the Jets has failed to do so thus far.

Part of that lays with GM Kevin Cheveldayoff pulling the trigger on just one major trade since taking the reins of the franchise in 2011 and his inability to secure a true #1 goalie to complement his team (although Eric Comrie has some Junior-league pedigree and I still fully believe Connor Hellebuyck will develop into a high-end netminder), and part of it lies with head coach Paul Maurice's sometimes inexplicable decisions, particularly his obsession with forgiving his players' dumb penalties and favouring heavy players to skilled ones in games where speed might make a difference.

Yes, perhaps that was a bit contrived just to get to 5'9", 2013 second-round pick (43rd overall) Nicolas Petan, who was scratched two dozen times last season on his way to a one-goal, 11-assist, 12-point season in 54 games despite decent AHL production with the Manitoba Moose and two 100-point seasons with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.

So far in the NHL, he's been playing alongside Chris Thorburn, an honest, hard-working fourth-line grinder whose highest production was the 19 points he put up with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010-11.

However, there were flashes of brilliance, such as when he's tasked with quarterbacking the powerplay, where he can use his centerman's vision, speed and play-making skills to create plays from the point out of thin air. On a team with such talent as Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler, Mark Schiefele, Bryan Little, and Mathieu Perreault, and blue-liners like Dustin Byfuglien, Dmitry Kulikov and Jacob Trouba on his side, the Jets' powerplay could (and should) be in the league's top-10.

He has suited up for Team Canada three times, earning two gold medals (2012 U-18s and 2015 World Juniors), as well as a disappointing fourth-place finish at the 2014 World Juniors.

Here he is wearing the Jets' white (away) uniform on the Level 1 Jersey insert of card #126 from Upper Deck's 2015-16 Trilogy collection and Rookie Premieres sub-set:
The card is from a multi-brand repack with "guaranteed hits" and features a dark blue swatch from a jersey worn in a rookie photo shoot. It's numbered 407/599.

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