6 Foot 1 Inches
VHL Projection: 2nd pairing with 1st pairing upside in a pinch
Andrej Petrovic was born in Belgrade in what I think was still called Serbia and Montenegro or it might have even been Yugoslavia still. Either way, too lazy to look it up. He did not grow up in a hockey country or much of a hockey family although that didn't deter him much. His maternal family is from Italy while his father's side is entirely from Serbia. As a result, he was supposed to be a soccer player growing up but he found his first love to be skating. He didn't know anything about hockey and neither did anyone in his family but once he learned to skate it was natural for him to join a hockey club local to him. He was trained by Russian and Belorussian's living in the city and eventually earned a contract with the prestigious (for soccer and basketball) HK Partizan of his hometown. He played for their under 10, under 12 and briefly the under 14's before signing a contract with a team in Kazan where he moved to play his junior hockey. He was drafted in the CHL import draft by the Flint Firebirds but declined their invite saying he'd rather play in Europe. He continued to play in Russia eventually making it as high as the Russian Junior top level. He was a flashy player although he did leave a little to be desired. The following is a brief scouting report of the player.
1. Skating: He has always been a talented skater, even before he knew about ice hockey. He has a great first burst that allows him to make up ice in a hurry. He isn't a smooth skater and some people find his stride a little odd, but his speed and acceleration are undeniable. He is one of the best backwards skating players at his level and should provide a good showing in the VHLM this year.
2. Stick checking: He is far from the biggest payer on the ice and he is sometimes out muscled. He makes up for it though by having a very good active stick that he uses to maintain control over other players. He is strong on his opponents stick and sometimes a little over zealous which causes him to take a slashing penalty. Never the less, he wins significantly more stick battles then he loses.
3. Love of the game: He didn't come from a hockey family so his love of the game is pure. He has a personality that shows he wants to learn more about the game then he knows and in that he is the perfect student to be mentored. He already has the raw ability that should allow him to be a contributor at the lower levels right away, but it might take some seasoning before he is a VHL player.
1. Physicality: He is not soft in the typical sense of the word, but he does shy away from physicality unless he thinks it is necessary. He has a history of nagging injuries as well that may make some teams think twice in the VHL draft. He struggles in front of the net against bigger players.
2. Mistake prone: He is not the most consistent player and is often prone to silly blunders. They can be ironed out, but the fact that they haven't been yet at this stage is kind of worrisome. Are they bad habits or just a player who is not as good as he thinks he is? Time will tell but he often misses what should be easy passes or leaves the zone too early to join the rush. A cause for concern.
3. Indecisiveness: If there is one thing that makes you wonder about young players it is their indecisiveness. This can show up in many ways and is related to the last point. Be it a timid play along the boards or pausing unsure if he should join the rush, the young Serb can often make his team look bad and leave his goalie out to dry. It is something that can be fixed with proper coaching, but it remains to be seen if he will get to that point.