Kyle Petten has a shot
Young puckster impresses through skill, hard work
“Watch for the shot!” Those four words are something Coley’s Point’s Kyle Petten is going to have to get used to hearing as his hockey career progresses.
The 13-year-old member of the Tri Pen Ice bantam AAA team brings a bomb of a shot to every game he plays and teams are looking out for it.
It is the shot Kyle has become famous for and something he developed over years of wristing pucks in his parents’ basement.
Like Sidney Crosby and his legendary washer, the young athlete has been honing his shot for years.
“That is something he has always done, and it isn’t strange to see him do it now,” said Jason, Kyle’s father.
Kyle’s favourite shot to perform is the snap shot. He prefers it because it is quick and powerful.
“It can catch goaltenders guard,” he said.
It does not really matter which one he chooses. Whether it is the wrister or a slap shot, it is going at the opposing goaltender hard.
Watching him play
Watching Kyle shoot is like watching a young Phil Kessel. The Toronto Maple Leafs sniper is known for his quick release while on the move. “It’s something I work on,” he said. It is something that has allowed Kyle to put up an impressive 22 points (13 goals and nine assists) in just 12 games of action in the provincial AAA bantam league.
That is good for an average of just under two points a game — 1.8 to be exact — and he has missed three games due to injury.
“(Kyle) works really hard at the game,” said Jason.
Kyle is the son of Jason and Carolyn Petten of Coley’s Point.
A centreman by trade, the young phenom is a pleasure to watch. Regularly facing double coverage, Kyle explodes when he finds a glimmer of open ice.
With strides that produce a mixture of speed and power, he is able to bury defenders with quickness or just physically over match them.
“(Kyle) has an overdrive level that not everyone has,” said coach Nelson Bennett.
When Kyle gets in the offensive zone, he is just as skilled at a toe-drag as he is at shooting a puck like a rocket at the goal.
A lot gets made of his offensive game, but Kyle is just as adept in his own end.
While he would like to get better in the face-off dot, he has a nose for picking up the high man on the back check, blocking shots or helping his defencemen out in the corners.
“(Kyle) will chase you to the canteen,” said Bennett of his back-checking abilities.
A new challenge
The provincial league has been a welcome challenge for Kyle. It represents the first time in two seasons where he has had a regular game to prepare for. “I really like the league,” he said. Before this season, Kyle and his teammates were resigned to a weekly combination of practices and inter-squad games. When they’d go to tournaments on the mainland, it was not common for them to play games against teams with 30-40 games played versus their 16 contests.
“It allows me to work on my game,” said Kyle
Can’t teach desire
The shot and his speed are great assets, but Bennett mentions Kyle’s desire as something that sets him a part.
“(Kyle) wants to get better and be better,” he said.
Whether it is at the rink or in the gym, Kyle is striving to improve every facet of his game. It is this desire that manifests on the ice in the third period when the game is on the line and when his team needs a defensive stop.
It is also something a player is born with. As the old saying goes, ‘you can’t teach desire.’ “It’s special,” said Bennett. At the recent Atlantic Challenge Cup in Montcon, N.B., Kyle was named the Hard Hat Award winner for this province’s under-14 entry. It is an award given to the player deemed the best overall contributor by teammates. It exemplifies hard work, leadership and teamwork.
It is an award Kyle is proud to have received and represents an attitude he takes to the ice every game.
“I like to lead by example,” he said.
Kyle Petten is the leading scorer for the Tri Pen Ice bantam AAA team.