I’m fairly certain Theo Peckham is going to surprise people. Bob Stauffer can’t say “Theo Peckham” without adding “might be a good 5-6D someday” and that kind of comment obscures the fact that the kid continues to develop.
Theo Peckham turned 21 about one month ago and has played 75 AHL games and had a couple cups of coffee in the show. His improvement since turning pro has been nothing short of amazing.
In his rookie season (Peckham was 19 when he turned pro) in Springfield he played in 59 games, scoring 6-7-13 and 174pims and a -14. 2 of his goals came on the powerplay and his minus 14 came on a team that was -29 overall (I can’t find shorthanded goals for and against so that number is a little off) in the 07-08 season.
This year, Peckham is getting powerplay time and delivering. But it’s more than that. His numbers (16gp, 4-6-10 +3) are an improvement and he’s having an impact in all areas. His plus +3 comes on a team that is 35-30 (+5) at EVs this season. He’s also playing against tougher competition (based on reports and scoresheet) this season.
Springfield coach Jeff Truitt: “Theo’s still a young player, but he shows a well-rounded game. He’s physical, a guy his team can count on. He’s relied upon for penalty-killing and the power play. On the power play, he has a knack for getting a shot through traffic.”
Peckham: “I know my role (on the power play). Either shoot the puck or be a distraction (to the defensive team). The coaches have been working with me, teaching me to take my time and not go at the net every time I get the puck.”
Year over year (through 16 gp) we can see that Peckham is in fact improving:
- 07-08 Peckham at EVs: 2-1-3
- 08-09 Peckham at EVs: 2-4-6
- 07-08 Peckham on PP: 1-1-2
- 08-09 Peckham on PP: 2-2-4
Peckham’s indicators are all positive. This comes on the heels of an 07-08 season in which the organization took notice. Again, Prendergast: “The guy who’s come the furthest is Theo. He brought every element of his game that we drafted him for; the toughness, the ability to clear the front of the net and he’s advanced his game in being able to carry the puck and jump in the play, his gap control is very good and he’s a team-orientated player.”
Bob Stauffer may be right: Theo Peckham may end up being a 5-6D in the NHL. I think there’s growing evidence that he might be more than that and I also believe Peckham is close to being recalled to the show for good. He’s a quality prospect, you could make a strong argument for Theo Peckham to be the #1 prospect in the system.