Saturday, September 20, 2008

BBO's Top 20 Prospects, #6 D Theo Peckham

Theo Peckham had the quickest learning curve of all of the pro rookies in Springfield last year. A list that included 1st round pick Ryan O'Marra, highly touted Slava Trukhno , and former 2nd round pick Colin McDonald.

Peckham was sent down early in the season after a less than impressive pre-season with the Falcons. However once he returned he was a different player. Hitting anything that moved, giving the evil eye to anyone that as much as glimpsed in his direction, Peckham meant business. Theo Peckham has rocketed up the Oilers prospects charts after a superb start to his final OHL season and taking huge leaps forward last season.

By the end of last year he had leapfrogged much older players such as Mathieu Roy, Allan Rourke, Danny Syvret, and Bryan Young. Theo Peckham served notice that he is a legit NHL prospect and that he would be knocking on the Oilers door sooner rather than later. Peckham was rewarded for his play by a 1 game call-up to play alongside Steve Staios. Peckham was solid defensively and dished out one of his board rattling hits against a Columbus Bluejackets player. He served notice that there would be more of that to come.

Although many people see him strictly as an in your face defensive defenseman, I see the potential for so much more. I see a guy that can intimidate players from the blueline, but also a guy that can put up some points with an accurate point shot. Peckham is also a decent passer. While he will probably never be a top offensive d-man, I do believe that he will have much more offensive success than a player like Matt Greene or Jason Smith.

Whether he makes the team out of camp or gets called up when injury hits, Theo Peckham should add to his NHL resume this season. And don't be surprised if this big bruising d-man continues to grow his offensive game throughout this season and the rest of his career.

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