The Edmonton Oilers have a roster that is full of big-name young talent. With Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov up front, they were expected to be a playoff contender. That didn’t happen this season, and as the team looks to the future they would be wise to strengthen their defense and goaltending. Their defense did see the addition of Justin Schultz in 2013, and the Oilers also got an under-the radar solid season from Jeff Petry. The former Michigan State University standout just won a bronze medal with Team USA at the World Championship, and should be a big part of helping the Oilers return to glory next season.
Petry played in all 48 games for the Oilers this season, one of only four defensemen to do so. He scored a career-high three goals and chipped in nine assists while seeing almost 22 minutes of ice time per night. He was one of a small handful of Oilers to finish the year with a positive number in plus/minus and he takes very few penalties. Petry has one more year left on his contract, and if he continues to improve for the Oilers they should definitely be considering a long-term deal.
Petry joined Team USA for a second straight year, and while he didn’t match his scoring totals from the previous year (two goals, six points) he was an important part of helping the U.S. at least secure a medal. Next season, the Oilers will hope he can be a part of helping them return to the postseason.