Monday, November 24, 2008

More than Just a Pugilist

I have been trumpeting Theo Peckham as a late bloomer that has skills that go beyond those of the black and blue variety. Yes Peckham is a willing and able fighter, and yes Peckham can dish out thunderous hits, but I've seen something more under this man-child.

Peckham still looks like a kid in terms of his facial features, but his game is all man, and has been ever since he stepped foot into the NHL over a year ago. I was so impressed with the fact that a then 19 year old would take on physically mature men that most 19 year old hockey players would be intimidated by. Never mind that he held his own and then some when the smoke cleared.

Through it all I saw a young man that was a decent skater, had a pretty good first pass and a guy with a knack of getting the puck through traffic from the point. His modest 6-7-13 offensive production in 59 games last season didn't stop me from thinking that this kid had so much more bubbling beneath his 174pim. rugged exterior.

I went as far as to compare him to a current Oiler, none other than #44 Sheldon Souray. Both are hulking defensemen that can intimidate physically as well as produce offensively. Souray's weapon of choice is a world class slapper, to this point Peckham's weapon of choice is a superb snap shot.

Still a ways to go, but Theo is ahead of Sheldon's offensive production at the same age. In time and maybe under the tutelage of Souray, Peckham will grow into that type of a player.

At the end of Sunday's game, Peckham stood in at 8th in the AHL in goals for a defenseman with 4, and 17th in defenseman scoring with 10 points in 16 games and he's only 2 points from cracking the top 10 in AHL defenseman scoring with only 3 d-men in the top 10 having played less games than him.

More than a pugilist indeed.

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