Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – As I’ve watched the Buffalo Sabres practice on Wednesday and Thursday, I looked to see if the more highly ranked prospects dominated. So far, 2020 second round pick J-J Peterka hasn’t disappointed.
Peterka has a very good scoring touch and is very shifty in what he does. He’s also not afraid to engage in battle along the wall, and he seems to really hone in on getting pucks back. His skating is excellent, and he seems to have a real feel for the game.
Buffalo moved up to take Peterka 34th overall, because they, like some other teams, had a first round grade on him.
The native of Munich, Germany had never been to Buffalo until he arrived last Saturday. That’s not easy for a 19-year-old kid to leave home and have to navigate a new country and a new city on his own. Peterka said there was a certain anxiousness to coming to North America.
“I was so curious about it," he said following Wednesday's practice at Harborcenter. Soo excited, and then first I had visa problems getting here, but I’m finally here and I like it.”
Peterka has played professional hockey in Germany for two years, which pitted him against men. He said it will help him as he moves forward in the American Hockey League.
“Being around adults made me grow as a person more. Also in battles to see how those guys prepare,” Peterka said.
One of the veteran players that was on EHC Red Bull München with Peterka was former Sabres forward Derek Roy. Roy played 549 of his 738 NHL games in Buffalo. Peterka used him as a great resource to help his game.
“I learned a lot from him, like how he prepared and after games he did some work to get his body feeling good," Peterka explained. "I was [also] practicing some things with him, so it was really good to have a guy like him there.”