John-Jason Peterka is the third German we have studied in this series so far. He is an 18-year-old right-wing who’s a left-handed is listed as 5-foot-11 and 192 pounds. He has split his junior hockey career between Germany and the Czech Republic. Most recently, playing for the DEL’s EHC München. In the final 2020 Draft Prospect Rankings, he ranks seventh among European skaters.
Peterka began his junior career in his home country. As a 13-year-old, he played in 12 Schüler Bundesliga games, racking up 20 points. After this short stint, he relocated to the Czech Republic, participating with the RB Hockey Academy. In his first year, he played in the Erste Bank Junior League, totaling 45 points in 13 games — this point per game average is the all-time highest in league history (1,918 total players). He followed this up by posting 21 points in 18 Czech under-18 games, this as a 15-year-old.
In his draft minus-one season, Peterka played in the Czech under-19 league. He played 48 games and dominated, compiling 45 goals and 49 assists. This total led the league by 14 points and is the highest total in league history. After this historic season, Peterka moved up to a much tougher DEL, the top professional league in Germany.
As a 17-year-old he played in 42 games, contributing 11 points (seven goals, four assists) this season. Although low, this total is perfectly fine for an extremely young prospect in a league with men. In comparison to his other draft counterparts, Lukas Reichel had 24 points in 42 games, and Tim Stützle 34 points in 41 games. Both Reichel and Stützle played a considerably more amount of time than Peterka did, as well.
One of the main reasons why Peterka has gotten all the attention he has is due to his electrifying performance at the 2020 World Junior Championships. He was second on Team Germany, with six points in seven games. This number was more than both Tim Stützle and Lukas Reichel too, as well as a better output than Detroit Red Wings’ defensive prospect Moritz Seider.
Peterka’s Scouting Report
Peterka is a player that is an all-around talent that has no glaring weakness. He does everything well. Some stronger parts of his game include his skating, goal-scoring ability, and overall hockey sense.
He is a well-rounded skater that uses his strength in maintaining great balance, as well as utilizing a powerful stride. His goal-scoring is also solid, and this is evident as throughout his junior career he often has goal totals higher than his assist numbers. Lastly, his work ethic helps him at both ends of the ice. This is the sole reason why his defense improved so greatly in his jump from a weak Czech league to the DEL.
His playmaking ability is also pretty underrated. He is creative in his passes which often lead to attempts to higher-danger areas. His hockey sense also helps in this area of his game.
Overall, Peterka is a well-rounded player, that does many things well.
Although Peterka does many things well, he does not do anything exceedingly well, so he is not regarded as a flashy player. This aspect hurts him a bit as a prospect.
Defensively is probably where he needs the most work. He has all the tools, and the work ethic to be solid in his own end. He just really needs to put it all together.
Also, by playing in an extremely weak Czech league, in a sense, it has set back his development. Because of this, his trek to the NHL may take at least three years, longer than most first-round prospects.
Peterka has a high floor. He should have no issues one day developing into an NHL-player and at worst a bottom-six, scoring-type winger. His ceiling is limited slightly by the fact he has yet to develop any part of his game to something elite. Despite this, if everything goes how it should Peterka has the skills to become a top-six, goal-scorer with power play prowess. And if he goes on to develop an elite skill, this ceiling can be even furthered.
With all this said, Peterka should be a first-round prospect, which is exciting for German fans, as they have a chance to see three of their countrymen taken off the board in round one. Expect him to be a later pick in round one, specifically somewhere between selections 26-30.
Fit With the Devils
Peterka is another prospect that is too early for the Devils to consider at the team’s current projected picks (six, 10, and 17). However, with the recent news, it seems there to be a chance that the Arizona and Vancouver picks can each move back.
With that said, if the Devils find themselves with a pick in the late part of the first-rounder or the team trades back, Peterka can certainly be a fit. He is a goal-scoring wing that brings high work ethic, something the Devils can use, specifically at the wing position.
James’ Top-30 Prospect Rankings
1. Alexis Lafrenière (06/09/2020)
2. Tim Stützle (05/07/2020)
3. Quinton Byfield (05/08/2020)
4. Marco Rossi (04/30/2020)
5. Lucas Raymond (04/28/2020)
6. Cole Perfetti (05/06/2020)
7. Jamie Drysdale (05/01/2020)
8. Alexander Holtz (04/29/2020)
9. Yaroslav Askarov (05/05/2020)
10. Anton Lundell (05/11/2020)
11. Seth Jarvis (05/13/2020)
12. Jake Sanderson (05/04/2020)
13. Dawson Mercer (05/16/2020)
14. Noah Gunler (05/19/2020)
15. Rodion Amirov (05/12/2020)
16. Jack Quinn (05/09/2020)
17. Kaiden Guhle (05/31/2020)
18. Braden Schneider (06/29/2020)
19. Ryan O’Rourke (07/01/2020)
20. Dylan Holloway (05/14/2020)
21. Connor Zary (05/15/2020)
22. Jacob Perreault (05/26/2020)
23. Maverik Bourque (05/20/2020)
24. Lukas Reichel (05/18/2020)
25. Brendan Brisson (07/18/2020)
26. Hendrix Lapierre (05/21/2020)
27. John-Jason Peterka (05/28/2020)
28. William Wallinder (05/23/2020)
29. Jan Mysak (06/02/2020)
30. Roni Hirvonen (06/05/2020)