Sep 25, 2021

By Suzie Cool


When forward JJ Peterka was still available heading into the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft, Buffalo Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams knew he had to make some moves. Peterka was a player that the franchise wanted badly and did not expect for him to be available come the second day of the draft.


After a deal with the San Jose Sharks, the Sabres swapped their second-round pick with the Sharks and gave up their fourth-round pick (100th overall) to solidify the acquisition of Peterka. Fast forward eight months later and the 19-year-old was officially signed to a three-year, entry-level NHL contract with Buffalo.


Over the last few weeks, Peterka has finally made his way to North America, diving right into some game action at Prospects Challenge and notching two goals over the two games last weekend. The young forward can’t help but be excited to continue to explore what the Sabres organization has to offer, while taking on Training Camp with the big club.


“I explored a good part of the city and we also had good fans already at our scrimmages. I’m still really excited for the main camp coming up.”



Peterka has spent a large part of the last two seasons in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga with the Red Bull München in Germany. Making his European pro debut at just 17-years-old in 2019-20, Peterka recorded 11 points (7+4) in 42 contests.


In 2020-21, Peterka really seemed to step up his game as he tallied 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists, which tied for sixth on the team in his 30 games played. While on a loan with Salzburg EC of Austria last season, he also managed to register seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 12 appearances.


“The smaller ice at the beginning was a bit weird. Coming in the zone and breakouts, I actually went a couple of times against the boards, but it’s gotten better and better and I think I’m good now,” explained Peterka when asked about making the adjustment from his time in Europe to the North American game.


On top of starting his pro career quite early overseas, Peterka has represented his native country on multiple occasions and most recently at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, where he scored one goal in six games. Peterka also appeared in two IIHF World Junior Championship tournaments in 2020, where he recorded six points on four goals and two assists in seven games, then followed up that stellar outing in 2021 by producing 10 points on four goals and six assists in five games.


Although we’d love to see Peterka in the Flower City to kick off the Rochester Americans 66th season in the American Hockey League, this young player has one goal on his mind as he takes on Sabres Training Camp.


“To make the team here, the Buffalo Sabres.”

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