Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: D Andrew Peeke

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks owned seven picks early in each round. That changed after trading the second and fourth-round selections to the Florida Panthers, but who knows what will happen on draft day to get those back. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Under the microscope today: USHL Green Bay Gamblers defenseman Andrew Peeke!

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Name: Andrew Peeke

Position: Defense

Shoots: Right

Height, weight: 6’3”, 205 lbs

Team/League: Green Bay Gamblers, USHL

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 57th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2.5/5, 3.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-Nine Defenseman

Draft Range: Late Second to Late Third Round

Scouting report

"Big, mobile defenceman with great vision and hockey sense. Possesses a hard, accurate shot, but needs to use it more. Smooth skater, but has room for improvement in his acceleration with the puck. Reads plays well in his own end and has a well-rounded understanding of the defensive game. Starting to play a gritty game, but that will take time to develop. Physical game is definitely ripening. [Elite Prospects]"


Andrew Peeke is one of the bigger risers this season. Going into the year as a big player who neither plays physical enough nor produces enough offense, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound D-man developed nicely in his first USHL campaign.

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Peeke displays above-average mobility and skating skills for a player his size. That, along with great defensive awareness and hockey IQ, help him govern the defensive zone whenever he is on the ice. A shutdown player in the truest sense, Peeke does everything in his power to keep the puck away from the net and, most importantly, out of the net.

Physicality might not be his biggest asset just yet, but Peeke is developing that part of his game nicely. Throughout the 2015-16 season, he got more and more confident with using his body, laying big hits and winning board battles. More importantly, however, Peeke reads the play very well, has great positioning and uses his reach to break up passing lanes or knock the puck loose from oncoming forwards.

While the defensive game is Peeke’s biggest asset, he has also developed some offensive skills, though not all scouts are convinced that he can translate that to the next level. Peeke is a decent passer and tries to distribute the puck in the offensive zone, which has led to a good amount of power play time and 30 assists in 56 games this season.

In addition, he possesses a heavy shot, thanks to his large frame, but he needs to use it more. Four goals are not enough to project as anything more than a defensive defenseman.


While Peeke has good mobility, he won’t win a fastest skater contest. He needs to work on his stride and skating speed, both forward and backwards, to succeed at the next level. Committed to the University of Notre Dame, he will get a chance to prove what he can do in the NCAA next season.

Furthermore, Peeke needs to get more confident with the puck. He plays a decent first pass and gets pucks to his teammates in the offensive zone, but there isn’t much confidence there. Peeke only holds on to the puck as long as he really has to, before passing it on to someone else.

Speaking of confidence, he also needs to grow more confident in his shot. The power is there, so all he needs to do is fire them at the net more frequently. It is hard to make a good judgement on his shot accuracy at this point, simply because he does not use his shot enough.

Final Thoughts

Predicting Peeke’s draft position is not an easy task. Different NHL scouts view him very differently, especially regarding his offensive potential. Almost half of his assists came on the power play, so if he does not project as a power play guy in the NHL, does that mean he will only get half of that production?

Chances are, Peeke will be nothing more than a shutdown defender at the professional level. But if we just accept that, he can still be a very valuable player. He just won’t be picked in the second round, but rather towards the end of the third.

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

The Vancouver Canucks now have Nikita Tryamkin and Erik Gudbranson on the roster, and Andrey Pedan saw some NHL time last season, so they obviously like some big bodies in the lineup. Gudbranson was a third-overall pick in 2010 but, after putting up 34 points in 44 OHL games in his draft+1 season, never managed to develop an offensive game. Still, the Canucks like him enough to give up Jared McCann and a second-round pick for that type of player.

If there is one team that would really like a player like Peeke, it is Vancouver. Don’t be surprised to see him put on a blue and green orca jersey as the 63rd pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.