SUN Hockey Pool

Buchberger's glowing report heralded Peckham promotion

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

COLUMBUS -- Theo Peckham was having lunch when he got the call.

The Springfield Falcons defenceman was summoned to join the Edmonton Oilers last night in Columbus for the game against the Blue Jackets.

The 20-year-old native of Richmond Hill, Ont., made his Oilers debut, taking the place of Mathieu Roy in the lineup.

"(Falcons coach) Kelly Buchberger called me and told me that I was going up," Peckham said.

"It's a pretty amazing feeling. It was pretty unexpected. I had a feeling with the situation down here that maybe the call might be coming. But a thing like that is never expected."

Peckham has six goals, four assists and 113 penalty minutes in 42 games for Springfield this season.

The six-foot-one, 223-pound defenceman was Edmonton's second pick - 75th overall - in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Apart from playing with the Oilers rookies against the University of Alberta Golden Bears during training camp, last night was the first time he's put on the jersey.

He actually started this season in the ECHL.

"It can be a little unnerving out there for a player like Theo, but you have to get your feet wet some time," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"We're looking forward to seeing what he's got. Bucky's given him a great rating the last little while and feels like he's ready to come in and help us."

Peckham played three years of junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey League's Owen Sound Attack before moving up to the pro ranks.

In his final season with the Attack he scored 10 goals, added 25 assists and amassed 173 penalty minutes.

"He's a big, strong guy with decent foot speed for a guy his size and has a good first pass coming out of his zone," MacTavish said.

"He started off in the East Coast League, but he's established himself as one of the core guys in Springfield so it's a good accomplishment so far. To come from the East Coast League to the NHL in his first year is a pretty good indication of his progress."

As an emergency call-up, Peckham will be returned to the Falcons once either Roy or Ladislav Smid is ready to return to the lineup.

He got some good advice from Buchberger before joining the Oilers.

"He told me to go get a haircut and a shave and to pack a couple of suits," Peckham said.

"So I went to get a haircut and a shave and got here Thursday night."


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