The Toronto Maple Leafs traded for Nic Petan at last year’s trade deadline.
Needless to say, it didn’t appear that the move impressed Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock.
Babcock seemed to like Par Lindholm (he played him a lot even though he was pretty useless) and the size of Petan seemed to bother Babcock.
But the Leafs are a team that is built on talent, and Nic Petan has it.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Nic Petan
The Leafs should give Nic Petan a shot. He has talent, he’s got skill, and there’s reason to believe he can be a good NHL player. Especially on a team that doesn’t ignore players like him if they can’t find a home in the top-six.
Petan got into just five games with the Leafs last year, and he scored one goal.
It’s hard to evaluate him because he’s never gotten a long look in the NHL with other talented players.
That can change this year because the Leafs won’t be saddling their lineup with Connor Brown, Patrick Marleau and Freddie Gauthier anymore.
The top of the lineup is set, but with Hyman out, there is one top-six job up for grabs.
As for the bottom-six, you’ve got Kerfoot and Kapanen, and I think it’s safe to assume Spezza will play, but that leaves three other jobs open.
That’s a total of four jobs, but Trevor Moore and Ilya Mikheyev are thought to have the inside track on two of them.
Petan, if he wants to play, is going to need to have a hell of camp. Not just to overcome the coaches potential bias against him, but also the insane amount of players the Leafs have who will be competing for jobs.
Petan will be up against Nick Shore, Kenny Agostino, Jeremy Bracco, Pierre Engval, Garrett Wilson (injured), Pontus Aberg, Adam Brooks and others to make the team.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of options, but Nic Petan has got more upside than most of the guys he’ll be competing against, and I think the team should give him a long look.
Petan with Spezza and Shore would be miles ahead of any players Petan has had to play with before. Maybe he could get a little power-play action too. Having such a talented player on the fourth line gives the Leaf a lot of options.
I don’t suggest just giving him a job, but if he is even close to winning one, I think the Toronto Maple Leafs would be well served to give Petan a chance.