The Winnipeg Jets haven’t iced fourth line enforcer Anthony Peluso yet in the 2015-2016 season.
A former sixth round draft selection of the St. Louis Blues, Peluso has scored three goals and racked up nine points in 107 regular season NHL games since going pro during the 2009-2010 season. He appeared in exactly 49 games for the Jets last year, earning a goal and an assist while racking up 86 minutes of penalty time — but now, the Central Division club is planning to ice him against one of their divisional rivals.
As the Jets take the ice against the St. Louis Blues Sunday evening, the club has announced that Peluso will make his regular season debut in favor of rookie Nic Petan; this makes both Peluso’s first appearance of the season and Petan’s first game as a healthy scratch.
Petan, who scored his first NHL goal during the team’s first five games this year, is entering his first season of pro hockey with the Jets. Drafted 43rd overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, it’s possible that the former Portland Winterhawks star was left out of the lineup due to his somewhat diminutive stature; the 5 foot 9 Petan is certainly smaller than a number of the big bottom six skaters iced by St. Louis in their games.
Peluso, on the other hand, has no problem making his presence known against a heavier lineup; the 26 year old North York native stands at 6 foot 3 and clocks in at 235 lbs. He’s less likely to find the back of the net than the player Winnipeg scratched for him, but he’s also less likely to see a costly early-season injury when playing a heavy-hitting lineup.