Injuries are aplenty for the Columbus Blue Jackets at the moment.
All season, actually. With that has come tests to the organizational depth of the club.
One place where this has become apparent is on the blue line. The defensive structure has seen a shakeup recently with Ryan Murray and Dean Kukan still out of commission and Seth Jones now being out for the remainder of the regular season.
On the bright side, these injuries are bringing opportunities for the organization's prospects to prove that they have the promise to make the jump.
One of those who has seen time sooner than expected is Notre Dame product, Andrew Peeke. And while his sample size this season has been small, he has shown glimpses of being a reliable starting defenseman.
Head coach John Tortorella spoke about his offensive abilities and stated he has liked what he has seen thus far from the 21-year-old to this point.
"He's (Peeke) been a good player", said Tortorella on Wednesday. "He has shown us some offensive instincts that's coming along."
This may be hard to understand when you take a look at only the baseline statistics, with Peeke having just a single assist to his name in nine games with the Blue Jackets this season. But where he really starts to shine through is in his possession metrics.
Peeke sits at 51.8 in Corsi-for Percentage, which puts him on par with offensive stud Pierre-Luc Dubois (51.6). He is also excelling in other metrics, with his 54.5 Fenwick-For Percentage and On-Ice Save Percentage of 95.1%, putting him in good company with other Blue Jackets like Oliver Bjorkstrand, Markus Nutivaara and Alexandre Texier.
Pair these metrics with the backing of the coaching staff and the picture becomes a bit more clear: the kid has promise. Again, while the sample size is still quite small, it shows even more how strong and deep the prospect pool is for the Blue Jackets blue line.
With players like Peeke coming through the ranks, it makes it a bit easier to breathe when players like Jones go down.
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