When the Chicago Blackhawks selected Belgian goaltending prospect Wouter Peeters in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, they thought they may be taking on a long-term prospect. The 17 year-old looked good at the junior level and his 6’2”, 215 lb frame cut an imposing figure, but the team’s management didn’t expect Peeters to make the jump to North America for a few years. Well…scratch that plan because Peeters is coming, ready or not!
Russian reporter Alessandro SerenRosso announced on social media today that Peeters had terminated his contract with the KHL’s team in Jokerit and, presumably, will head to North America for the 2017-18 season. It hasn’t yet been announced where the promising young netminder will be playing, but he was drafted by the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL just last week and could factor into their season plans.
Regardless of where he plays, Peeters is an intriguing prospect for the Hawks. Now standing 6’4”, the lanky goaltender has undeniable skill, but his development may require some patience while he works out all the kinks in his game. Once that happens however, the Hawks could have a real gem in Peeters and he could eventually push for an NHL job.