Name: John-Jason Peterka
League: DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga)
Team: EHC München
Age/DOB: 18-years-old, January 14th, 2002
Birthplace: München, Germany, Europe
Potential Draft Round: Mid-to-late first Round
NHL Potential: Top-six Forward
John-Jason Peterka came out of nowhere this season to establish himself as a potential first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Peterka played in the top professional men’s league in Germany, the DEL, this season as one of the league’s youngest active players. Peterka is a natural goal-scorer with the potential to take his game to the NHL.
Peterka is not the biggest of players, but is quite difficult to defend against. He does not just stand around and wait for opportunities, he is always moving around and is tough to cover. Peterka is really quick and uses his speed on the breakout to create dangerous scoring chances.
His skating is a key component of his game. His combination of speed and acceleration allows him to outpace his opponents to get more dangerous offensive chances. His tendency to skate past defenders often results in Peterka drawing penalties due to the opposition being frustrated with his play.
He thrives around the net in dangerous areas. He is always moving around, looking for open spaces and anticipating where the puck will go and where the best place for him to receive a pass will be. This allows him to make himself a viable passing outlet for his teammates and puts himself in prime scoring positions.
Peterka possesses a quick release and solid accuracy which makes him a dangerous sniper. He knows where to place the puck to beat out goaltenders and does not require a whole lot of time and space to beat out goaltenders. Peterka is also no stranger to burying rebounds and battling in front of the net.
His knack for finding open spaces combined with his speed and shooting abilities make him a dangerous presence whenever he’s on the ice. Where Peterka is most dangerous is on the breakout and more so, the power play. On the man-advantage, Peterka always makes himself open to burry one-timers or get the puck to his teammates. At top speed, Peterka has good hands and can make nifty moves to beat out defenders and does so with a high degree of success.
Many elements of his game are still fairly raw and Peterka is a bit of a project for whichever team selects him this year. He will likely spend at least a couple more seasons in Germany before he makes his way over to North America. Once he does, he may still very well need at least a year or two before he is ready to crack an NHL roster.
If a team is patient enough with Peterka’s development, they may very well be in store for the German forward to become a key NHL player. Peterka needs to become more consistent in order to advance his game to the next level. With a few more seasons playing pro in Germany, he should be able to improve his consistency.
I can see Peterka becoming a reliable top-six forward at the NHL level with the right development. As long as the team that drafts him does not rush him and gives him time to play overseas and then in the AHL for the next few years, Peterka could very well become a dangerous goal-scorer in the NHL. He’s a player who can be deadly on the power play and thus could be used on the first unit power play.