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Lightning Prospect Spotlight: Matthew Peca

by Doug Spencer / Tampa Bay Lightning

One Lightning prospect is having another im-Peca-ble season with Quinnipiac. Matthew Peca is picking up right where he left off last year offensively with 26 points (five goals and 21 assists) through 26 games. The Bobcats senior currently sits second on the team in scoring while anchoring the team’s top line. Peca also sees time on both the power play and penalty kill. With all of the extra responsibilities thrust upon him this year, it is easy to understand why Peca was named a co-captain for the Bobcats this year.

Quinnipiac’s coach Rand Pecknold raved about Peca and how he has developed an impressive all-around game. “He’s a dynamic, explosive offensive player but he also plays on the penalty kill and is our best defensive forward,” Pecknold said. “Matthew possess explosive NHL speed, and he can win races and battles with it…He has such a high compete level and work ethic.” Peca’s overall drive to succeed and become a complete player has helped him develop into one of the Bobcats top skaters.

The Lightning selected Peca in the seventh round, 201st overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. At 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds but makes up for it with his speed and compete level, as demonstrated by the numerous accolades he has acquired throughout his career. He was the 32nd player to record 100 or more points in Quinnipiac history. Before this season, Peca had 107 career points, which ranked 26th overall in team history.

The Petawawa, Ontario, native has been seen as a strong offensive player throughout his collegiate career. During his junior season (2013-14), he put up 12 goals and 38 points in 40 games. He was selected to the ECAC All-Academic Team. Peca also set a new Quinnipiac record by notching six points on February 28 against St. Lawrence.

As a sophomore in 2012-13, Peca recorded his best goal totals to date with 15 goals in 39 games. He managed to finish the season with 30 points. He broke the NCAA Tournament record for fastest hat trick scored, recording one in a span of 3:12 against Union. By registering four goals and five points in two games, he was named the NCAA Tournament East Regional MVP.

Peca’s freshman year (2011-12) ended with him being the third player in team history selected to the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team. Through 39 games he recorded eight goals and 39 points, which ranked third in rookie points per game in NCAA history. His 31 helpers allowed him to set another Quinnipiac record, becoming the first freshman to ever lead the team in assists.

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