Peca was Laviolette’s captain with the Islanders.
He has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with Buffalo’s AHL team in Rochester. Prior to that he was a development coach with the Capitals in 2020-21 and prior to that he was coach/GM of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.
In Rochester, Peca was in charge of the forwards and PP and is credited with helping the development of young forwards “Jack Quinn, JJ Peterka, Jiri Kulich and Isak Rosen.” (Buffalo News)
From the Sabres Media Guide:
“Peca, who primarily oversees the offense, played an integral role in aiding in the development of two of the American Hockey League’s most dynamic scorers last season in rookie forwards Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka. The Amerks also finished third in the league in power-play efficiency under Peca in 2021-22, scoring 65 times on the man-advantage for a 23.5% conversion rate that was tops in the North Division.”
“He worked extensively with some of the organization’s top offensive prospects, including Brandon Biro, who was nearly a point-per-player in the second half of the season, as well as Linus Weissbach, Peyton Krebs and Brett Murray. Peca spent the 2020-21 season as a player development coach with the Washington Capitals, working primarily with the players on the taxi squad.”
Rochester had the third-best PP in the 2021-22 AHL regular season at 23.5%, 21.9% in 10 playoff games, and 13th this past season at 20.6% and it was 29.5% in 14 playoff games this past season.
Adam Rotter: Peca is someone that Glen Sather had tried to acquire when he was holding out from Buffalo during the 2000-2001 season, prior to the Islanders and Laviolette acquiring him that summer, and now, over 20-years later, he joins them as an assistant. He’s relatively inexperienced as a coach and this will be his first job in the NHL. Still, Peca is a two-time Selke winner and it’s clear that a big part of his job will be the continued development of Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, and Filip Chytil, rounding out the games of some other forwards and trying to make the PP a bit more dynamic and unpredictable game-to-game.