Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Dylan Peterson.
The 2019 US National Team Development Program U-18 team was historically good and set a record for first-round draft picks. While the 2020 US NTDP does not have the same level of star power or potential high draft picks, there are still a number of good prospects on the squad. Centre Dylan Peterson is one of this year’s top prospects. The Roseville, California native scored eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 45 games.
Last season, Peterson scored eight goals and 21 assists for 29 points in 53 games for the Under-17 team. He also played at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, scoring two goals and two assists for four points in five tournament games. Peterson is committed to playing hockey for the Boston University Terriers next season. Should he change his mind and head to the CHL, his rights are owned by the Ottawa 67’s. It is important to note that while Peterson was born in California, he grew up and played minor hockey in the Ottawa region. As he has not played in an official IIHF tournament yet, he is still eligible to represent both Canada and the United States.
Dylan Peterson Scouting Report
Center — shoots Right
Born January 8th, 2002 — Roseville, California
Height 6’4″ — Weight 192 lbs [193 cm/87 kg]
Coming in at 6-foot-4, Peterson is a good skater for a player his size. He has decent speed and is more than capable of keeping up with the play. His first step is a bit sloppy but that is often something a bigger player needs to work on. Despite that his acceleration is good. Peterson also has good edgework and agility. His turns are sharp and he is able to get around defenders both with and without the puck. He is also a powerful skater for his age, as he takes advantage of his frame to fight through checks and to win battles for loose pucks. Peterson has a lanky frame though and will need to add weight before moving up to the pro ranks.
Peterson has a number of good offensive tools but the production hasn’t quite followed as one would expect. He has a hard wrist shot and a good slap shot. The shots are accurate and feature a good release. However, Peterson does not use those shots enough. He needs to get shots off at a higher volume to really take advantage of his skill and score more goals. He also does a good job of getting to the net and using his size to screen goalies. When he’s there, he can bang in rebounds or get deflections.
Peterson is a talented stickhandler. He protects the puck well, using his body to shield it and working down low on the cycle game. He is likely to make the safe pass to a teammate and keep it moving than to try something more creative. Once he moves the puck, Peterson keeps his feet moving, looking for the give-and-go. He takes advantage of his size and is willing to grind for loose pucks and put pressure on opposing defence on the forecheck.
Peterson is a solid defensive player. He uses his size in helping out on the backcheck, supporting the defence down low and containing against the cycle game. Peterson provides good backpressure against the transition game. He uses his long stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. It is also effective at stealing the puck away from opponents. Peterson is effective on the penalty kill. He is also good in the face-off circle. Peterson is also a willing shot blocker. His positioning is strong. Peterson has good lateral agility and is tough to beat one-on-one. He funnels attackers away from the net and into bad shooting positions.
Projection and Comparison
Peterson has the size and defensive ability that NHL teams would love to add to their bottom lines, and thus is a safe pick. As long as he can continue to add muscle to his frame and still keep his speed, he will be an NHL player. The question becomes if he has the untapped offensive potential to be more than that. It may be possible, but his production seems a bit lacking compared to where his skills are at. This will be a question that his future NHL team will put to their development department. Peterson’s game is reminiscent of Brian Boyle but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Dylan Peterson that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Dylan Peterson Main Photo:
PLYMOUTH, MI – DECEMBER 11: Dylan Peterson #39 of the U.S. Nationals controls the puck against the Slovakia Nationals during game two of day one of the 2018 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on December 11, 2018, in Plymouth, Michigan. Team USA defeated Slovakia 7-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)