Photo (from left) – Plymouth Whalers assistant general manager Brian Sommariva welcomes defenseman Alex Peters to Plymouth. Photo by Pete Krupsky.
PLYMOUTH – Plymouth Whalers general manager and head coach Mike Vellucci announced the signing 15-year-old defenseman Alex Peters, who was taken by the Whalers in the second round (31st overall) of the 2012 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
Peters will attend high school at the Plymouth-Canton Education Park.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Peters said. “It a great privilege to be part of the Plymouth Whalers organization. It’s a happy day. I can’t wait to get started.”
Peters – 6-foot-4 and 188 pounds, from Blyth, ON – scored 11 goals with 7 assists for 18 points and 20 PIM’s in 45 games for the Huron Perth Lakers midgets last season.
Peters is a member of the Whalers Extended Family. His older brother, Justin (now with the Carolina Hurricanes) played in the OHL from 2002-06 and finished his career with the Whalers in 2006. Another brother, Anthony, was a goaltender in the OHL from 2006-11.
“Justin spoke a lot about what a great place Plymouth is,” Peters said. “I’m a big body, have an active stick and make a good first pass. I consider myself a two-way defenseman. I’m good on the defensive end, but can also take the puck up ice and contribute some points.”
Peters seemed to improve as last season wore on – a fact that prompted the Whalers to select him in the second round.
“I got more confident throughout the year,” Peters said about last season. “I felt more comfortable with my stick and started to jump up in the rush.”
The Plymouth coaching staff received their first look at Peters during the team’s Rookie Orientation May 19-20 and Peters – who played in the camp as one of the youngest players on the ice – didn’t look out of place. He scored a goal and skated well.
“We were really impressed with how he played,” said Plymouth associate coach Joe Stefan. “He’s a big kid who skates well for his size. He’s got a pretty good head for the game and makes good decisions. He seems like a good kid and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the family. We know Alex will come here with a great work ethic and hopefully he’ll be a good player for us for three or four years.”
Peters is expected to report to Plymouth’s training camp at the end of August.
AUDIO – Alex Peters discusses signing with Plymouth.
Earlier this spring, the Whalers signed 17-year-old center Ryan Hartman, who was selected by Plymouth in the fifth round (95th overall) of the 2010 OHL Priority Selection. Plymouth also signed Zach Bratina, who was taken in the first round (19th overall) in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.
Last season, the Whalers made the playoffs for the 21st consecutive year – a current OHL record – and captured their 10th West Division title over 22 years with a record of 47-18-2-1. Plymouth expects to be in thick of the Western Conference race again in 2012-13.