Matthew Peca: Pre-Draft Reviews
Hometown: Petawawa, ON
Acquired: Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 7 (#201) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Last Team: Pembroke (CCHL)
Projects As: Versatile Energy Liner
Rankings: Red Line Report 109 (overall)
Stats: Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL): 50 Games played, 26-46-72, 14 PIM
Pembroke (Fred Page Cup) 4 Games played, 7-5-12
Pembroke (RBC Cup) 6 Games played, 2-3-5
Dan Sallows, Scout:: â€œAt 5-foot-9, 165-pounds, many hockey observers thought Matthew Peca would get annihilated playing against older, and much bigger competition. But, what many defenders in the CJHL found out this season while playing against the pint-sized forward, is that you canâ€™t hit what you canâ€™t catch. Peca was selected the leagues â€˜Rookie of the Yearâ€™ after putting up 47 points (21G,26A) in 60 games. The kid has exceptional speed and he works hard at both ends of the ice. That, combined with his shifty, elusive, moves and ability to create, makes the 17-year-old a dangerous player each time he has the puck on his stick through the neutral zone. At times, he is very reminiscent of a young Theoren Fleury in size and in skill. He was an unheralded eighth-round pick (141st overall) of the OHLâ€™s Windsor Spitfires in the 2009 Priority Selection, but will most likely make a push to be in their lineup next year as many of the clubs top players could move on. Chances are, when he does arrive, Peca will be just like the term â€™spitfireâ€™ is defined, and become a highly excitable player for Windsor.â€
Pembroke Coach and former Lightning prospect Sheldon Keefe via Ottawa Sun: â€œHe does a lot of little things well on the defensive side. He kills penalties, he takes some pride in the defensive zone, and he's our go-to guy in being our most reliable player. He can get us that big goal or make that big play, but we also put him out there late in games to shut things down and protect a win. He's a special talent.
â€œHe came in this year looking to make a statement and I think he has.
"He set some goals for himself, the first of which was to secure a scholarship, which he did early on with (NCAA Division 1 Quinnipiac). He was looking to make Team Canada East, and he made a name for himself (at last month's World Junior A Challenge) and he continues to impress here.
"You get some of those high-end guys in the OHL that have those (offensive and defensive) tools, and they end up being first-round picks in the NHL.
"(Peca) definitely has that package, and probably the most impressive is that he always wants to be that guy out there, blocking big shots, or taking a big faceoff.â€™â€