When the Dallas Stars made it all the way to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, they did it without having to part ways with their first-round selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft to help them get there. They managed to make a glorious run in the present without sacrificing too much of their future.
While picking 30th overall obviously won’t get you the same quality of player that would be available at 10th or 20th, there is enough depth this year to select a very good prospect with the second-last pick in the opening round — which I fully believe that I did here, as part of the 2020 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft.
Without further ado, the Dallas Stars are proud to select, from EHC München in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, winger John-Jason Peterka.
For a full list of picks that were made leading up to this one, that can be found at this link.
For a full scouting report on Peterka, please check out the profile that I did about him from back in June.
But to give you the Cliffs Notes scouting report on Peterka here and now: he’s fast, he’s tenacious, and he’s skilled as both a shooter and a playmaker. He can play both wings, and he can play both sides of special teams. He played alongside and against multiple former NHLers this past season in Germany’s top professional league, and also had a very impressive showing at the World Juniors as a 17-year-old.
Germany is emerging as a true nation to watch when it comes to developing hockey talent. Leon Draisaitl won the 2020 Hart Trophy, while prospect Moritz Seider was selected sixth overall last year by the Detroit Red Wings. But 2020 is shaping up to be the deepest year yet for the nation, with Peterka joining countrymen Tim Stützle and Lukas Reichel, who could all get picked as early as Tuesday night.
When it came time to make the decision, there was very little deliberation. On my Top 101 draft rankings I had Peterka 25th overall, inside a tier I identified that goes from 21st to 28th. What I mean by the word “tier” is that every player in the same shared range is roughly equal in terms of value as a draft pick.
The highest player from my list who was still available — at 21st — was technically Barrie Colts forward Tyson Foerster, a prospect with a great frame and one of the best shots in this entire draft class. However, I ultimately went with Peterka because he fills a much bigger — and quite obvious — need for the Stars. Since Foerster and Peterka are inside the same tier and are only separated by a couple of spots, I felt very comfortable picking the German winger.
It’s also worth mentioning that Peterka would, in some eyes, be the clear-cut best player available here at 30th. As an example, he comes in at 17th on the rankings by McKeen’s Hockey.
It’s easy to imagine Peterka fitting perfectly alongside a versatile workhorse center like Ty Dellandrea and a power winger such as Jason Robertson. And considering Peterka is already plying his trade against men in Europe (he moved to EC Salzburg in the top Austrian league this fall), Stars fans wouldn’t have to wait as long to see him in Victory Green compared to other 2020 draft prospects.
Love the pick? Hate the pick? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.