29-Year-Old Goalie – Washington Capitals
Justin Peters Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $1.9 million contract with the Capitals in July 2014.
Peters was released from the Capitals' training camp roster Monday.
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Justin Peters: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Lost in the controversy over the Capitals’ spending spree on defenseman during free agency was the solid acquisition of Peters. Signed to a two-year, $1.9 million deal, Peters posted solid numbers filling in as an injury replacement for the Carolina Hurricanes last season, posting a 2.50 GAA and .919 save percentage in 21 games. Peters should serve as a capable backup, but his presence is intended to allow the Capitals to develop their younger goalies in the minors, so unless there is an injury or Holtby woefully underperforms, Peters has great value to the Caps as a stable backup, but limited value to fantasy owners.
Peters came on in relief of the injured Cam Ward (MCL) and Dan Ellis (knee) last season and struggled most nights as the team's temporary starting goalie, posting a 4-11-1 record along with a dismal 3.46 GAA and .891 save percentage. This year, with the return of Ward and the arrival of Anton Khudobin as his backup, Peters is looking like the odd man out and should open the season at AHL Charlotte.
Peters’ role as the backup to Cam Ward last season was, in a word, tenuous. The 24-year-old backstop made his way into just 12 games last season, and was shaky in the way of posting a .875 save percentage, 3.98 goals-against average and 3-5-1 record on the season. The Hurricanes acquired veteran puck-stopper Brian Boucher in the offseason, which all but guarantees that Peters will get his ticket to AHL Charlotte in 2011-12.
Last season, when starting netminder Cam Ward was shelved with leg and back injuries, Peters split minutes between the pipes with veteran Manny Legace. You could say that he held his own by sporting a 6-3 record, .905 save percentage, and 2.83 goals-against average in nine starts. He also played well with the Albany River Rats (AHL), where he backstopped his way to 26 wins and a 2.54 GAA. Ultimately, the 'Canes named Peters the No. 2 netminder behind Cam Ward, and signed him to a two-year contract, while letting Legace walk. Ward is expected to get the lion's share of starts for the 'Canes, but if his back injuries linger and force him out of action for a significant period of time, Peters' value could skyrocket.
Last season Peters turned heads stopping pucks for the AHL’s Albany River Rats. Despite a losing record of 19-30-4, Peters was on his game with a .289 goals against average and .908 save percentage. He’s still behind Michael Leighton and Cam Ward in the netminder pecking order, but he’s a logical fill-in if the ‘Canes are ever slapped with injuries to their top goalies.
Peters is at best the third goaltender in the Carolina system, behind NHLers Cam Ward and Michael Leighton. He'll get the call to Raleigh if one of the top guys goes down, but otherwise will be left to develop in Albany.
Peters may one day be a starting NHL goalie, but the main reason he is Carolina's number one prospect is that the Hurricanes have a terrible prospect pool. Perhaps his strongest ally is time, as he's just 21, but Cam Ward is only two years his senior, and Ward now has a full year of NHL-level experience. Peters is a very good passer for a goalie. He's facing a lot of competition for ice time, though, and will probably surrender the #1 job in Albany, at least in the short run, to newly-signed Michael Leighton.
Last year was a small step backward for the young goalie, who had enjoyed three straight productive OHL seasons. But he's still very young at 20, and the team can take its time in developing him. No fantasy value this season.
Peters is looking up the depth chart at Martin Gerber and Cam Ward (and maybe Rob Zepp, too). Unless you need a rookie goalie who will get little or no playing time, you should pass.