Washington Capitals: Making the case for drafting John-Jason Peterka

The Washington Capitals should draft John-Jason Peterka.

The Washington Capitals are expected to select 25th at the 2020 NHL Draft next month. One player who’s high on their radar on numerous mock drafts is John-Jason Peterka. He is a right winger out of Munchen in Germany.

Chris Peters of ESPN describes Peterka as this: “A finisher with solid offensive sense, Peterka gets himself into good positions on the ice to produce. The Caps don’t have any immediate needs, and he’s a bit more of a project, as he’ll need to adjust to the spacing and timing of the North American game. Peterka has options for the season, including a potential trip to the OHL, where his rights are owned by the London Knights, where Washington’s top prospect, Connor McMichael, plays. He’ll at the very least, start next season in Germany, though.”

Peterka had a breakout season in 2017-18 with RB Hockey Academy U18 with 28 goals and 17 assists for 45 points. The next year with U19 he scored 49 goals and added 49 assists for 94 points. This past season for EHC Muchen he scored seven goals and four assists for 11 points. This seasons o far for Germany U20 he has scored two goals in three games.

Dobber Prospects describes Peterka as “An offensive winger with great speed and quickness. Very good puck handling skills and passing skills. Pretty good shot. Needs to improve his all around game and consistency. Slightly undersized.”

Peterka has a wide stance but it doesn’t seem to sway away his skating. In fact it may help in some ways. He’s strong on the skates and tough to knock off on the puck. He needs to improve his upper body strength to take full advantage of puck battles along the boards so he can win those.

Thanks to his wide stride he doesn’t lose any speed. He has a quick first step and excellent acceleration. His ability to change speeds is a weapon he can use to get past defenders on the rush. He can avoid defenders with and without the puck.

Peterka has strong skating and excellent hands and can make plays while moving at top speed. This makes him dangerous on the rush. He can control the puck while being a sniper. He’s got an outstanding wrist shot and snapshot. He also has quick hands and the ability to disguise his release.

Peterka would be a great addition to a forward prospect pool already featuring Connor McMichael. We’ll see who they’ll take with the 25th pick.