The Edmonton Oilers have exactly one boatload of prospects coming. Peckham’s progress has not been in a straight line and there are more options on the way. How much time is left for Theo Peckham to establish himself as an NHL player in Edmonton?
RE 12-13 55, 1-5-6
- What’s the best thing about him? Peckham is tough, fearless and a little off plumb (and I mean that in a good way). He’s learning the position and has shown the ability to play effectively when paired with a strong (Gilbert) defender.
- What’s the worst thing about him? Penalties, positioning. Peckham took too many pims and man he had a tough season in the decision making department.
- Was he good as a rookie? He had lots of chaos but there was progress in year one. In last year’s RE I wrote “Peckham played tougher minutes than one would think for a player of his experience. He did it while playing with Tom Gilbert 48% of the time at evens, so despite the teammate number above he wasn’t alone. He did have the toughest zone start, so for Peckham to emerge with his CorsiRel at -6.6 and a -5 overall (and allowing a major dollop for luck) that’s still a solid year. This was his first full NHL season.”
- He did better this year, Even +/- on a -26 team. That’s actually the beauty of all of these advanced stats–we can see what really happened. In year one Theo played tougher minutes but had Tommy Gilbert as a life line, but this past season was a struggle despite facing the soft parade.
- So they should dump him? No, because if we’ve learned anything it is that suffering through growing pains and then watching a defenseman flourish elsewhere is a tough thing to endure. Oilers have invested in Theo Peckham, let’s see how this thing turns out.
- You’ve got him as the 7D, not exactly a ringing endorsement. First of all, 7D on the Oilers depth chart in summer probably means you’re playing top 4D by Christmas. That is just how things work out. Second, we’ve already talked about the fact that these young men don’t develop in a straight line. Peckham may turn a corner here soon.
- What can they count on him for? Peckham was a big part of the PK rotation and that was an area of improvement for the team. That alone gives him value, although I don’t really know if these things sustain from season to season.
- If they put him on waivers he’d go right through. No. Defensemen are scarce and young, tough ones who have been fairly healthy in their first 150 NHL games have value. They just do. It’s a tough position.
- Oh you always say that. They’re all tough. Playing NHL defense in the modern era–where clutching and grabbing are 2 minutes every time–mean you have to use positioning and that’s a tough thing to do at any level. Impossible in the NHL.
- You always liked Peckham. Early on you couldn’t find a discouraging word about him on the internet. Coachable, tough, eager, a lot of try.
- He’ll always be a 5-6. Peckham has shown an ability to PK and if he can be successful at evens on the third pairing he’ll have value.
- But there are so many coming up. Sure, but Peckham has the advantage of already being here and part of the team. Edmonton will be offloading defenders here in the next couple of years but there should be room for a tough guy like Peckham if he can play a regular shift and be effective.
- Teubert can replace him tomorrow. No, he can’t. We saw Teubert at the NHL level last year and there’s still some distance.
- What about Bigos? He’s a guy to watch, but it is likely he’ll spend a season in OKC so that’s 2 years from now. Peckham could be well established by then.
- How many guys in the system can do what Peckham does? Play defense and fill the enforcer/physical role? Teubert and Plante at the AHL level, and among the prospects below only Bigos is clearly that kind of player.
- Someone will pass him and he’ll be dealt. Certainly possible. However, Peckham has a massive advantage over Teubert, Plante and Bigos. He’s here, he’s signed, he’s part of the team and he has 156 games of NHL experience.