HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey incoming freshman Matt Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) was selected in the seventh round of the 2011 National Hockey League (NHL) Draft on June 25, 2011. Peca, who was taken with the 201st pick overall, led the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the CJHL to the 2010 Royal Cup Championship.
"We are very proud of Matthew's selection by the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Quinnipiac Head Coach Rand Pecknold said. “He is an impact player who we expect to contribute immediately. Even more importantly, he is a young man of character who has a commitment to academic success and a commitment to excellence on the ice."
Last season with Pembroke, Peca registered 26 goals while adding 46 assists in 50 games played for 72 points – good for second on the Lumber Kings’ roster. Over 110 career games over two seasons with the Lumber Kings, Peca totaled 47 goals and 72 assists for 119 points.
“We believe Matthew Peca to be one of the hidden gems of this year's draft,” Tampa Bay Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray said. “Playing Junior-A hockey in Pembroke rather than in the CHL, he got less exposure to scouts than players who play at the Major Jr. level. He showed our staff in his league play, in international play at the Junior-A Challenge and in the Royal Bank Cup playoffs that he is a highly-skilled player with NHL potential dominating all competitions. He isn't a big player but we saw a high energy player with strong skating who constantly exerted pressure on the puck defensively and has intelligence, plus top skill, offensively.”
Peca was voted the Central Canada Hockey League’s Top Prospect heading into the draft after a season that saw Peca named to the Team Canada East squad at the World Junior A Challenge as well as the Canadian Junior A Top Prospects Game. He also earned Most Valuable Player honors in the CCHL Playoffs and was named the Top Forward at the RBC Cup after leading the Lumber Kings to their first National Championship.
Peca is the most recent Quinnipiac recruit to be drafted. In the 2009 draft, would-be first-year Bobcat Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) was selected by the Edmonton Oilers. Jones went on to total 22 points – eight goals and 14 assists – in his first year in Hamden.