(Photo Credit: Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

One of Don Sweeney’s trade acquisitions is set to come to life Thursday night. Andrew Peeke, dealt from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Jakub Zboril and a 2027 third-round pick, will sport the spoked-B for the first time against the Montreal Canadiens. The 25-year-old blueliner isn’t wasting any time getting his feet wet in the historic rivalry.

“I’ve watched those for a long time now,” Peeke told reporters following Wednesday’s morning skate. “No matter who’s playing at the Bell Centre, it’s a pretty special place. But playing for the Bruins against them is going to juice it up a little bit more.”

The 6’3″, 214-pound rugged defenseman has only played 23 games with the Blue Jackets this season, posting 1-7-8 on a struggling Columbus team. However, Peeke has spent his first four National Hockey League seasons in Columbus and has had to use this past week to acclimate himself to Boston’s play style. Lucky for him, there haven’t been many differences.

“Just a couple tweaks and a couple adjustments,” Peeke said. “But other than that, a lot of similarities and each day I’m picking up something new.”

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery hopes Peeke can introduce some brass to Boston’s back end, utilizing his size to play a hard, physical game. A stay-at-home defenseman, Peeke isn’t expected to light an offensive spark in his role. Known for blocking shots and clearing out the front of the net, the Bruins hope Peeke will alleviate some of Boston’s recent defensive zone breakdowns.

“Obviously, he doesn’t know our complete structure,” said Montgomery. “We showed him video, but he’s got to go out and apply it. The good thing is, is having talked to him there’s a lot of similarities between the way they played this year in Columbus and the way we play. Hopefully just to see him play on his toes and bring some physicality to our lineup. 

With Matt Grzelyck away from the team due to illness, Peeke will likely slot into Boston’s bottom defensive pairing with Parker Wotherspoon. Not only will the B’s rely on Peeke to gut out a win in response to Monday’s 5-1 defeat to the St. Louis Blues, but his performance will also indicate where he’ll fall on Montgomery’s depth chart the rest of the way. Peeke, Wotherspoon, and Kevin Shattenkirk– a healthy scratch Thursday-– are all competing for a sixth defenseman spot on the depth charts. Peeke will make his first bid to claim that spot in Montreal.