2010-11: Avery Peterson was the leading scorer for Minnesota’s Grand Rapids High School as a freshman. In 28 games he scored 8 goals with 18 assists and was +21 with 28 penalty minutes. Grand Rapids season came to a heart-breaking end as the Thunderhawks took a 1-0 lead into the third period of the Section 7AA final against Duluth East but lost 2-1 in overtime.
2011-12: Peterson skated for Team Great Plains in the Upper Midwest Elite League before returning to Grand Rapids for his sophomore season. He was invited to USA Hockey’s Select 17 camp in June. Peterson scored 7 goals with 6 assists in 22 games for Team Great Plains in the fall and once again led Grand Rapids in scoring — tallying 14 goals with 30 assists in 25 games. The Thunderhawks reached the Section 7AA quarterfinals; falling to Forest Lake, 3-2.
2012-13: Peterson made his USHL debut, skating in eight games for Sioux City, and scored over two points per game as a junior for Grand Rapids. He scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +3 with 7 penalty minutes in his stint with the Musketeers. In 26 games for Grand Rapids he scored 27 goals with 35 assists with 2 penalty minutes. Peterson’s clutch scoring led the Thunderhawks to the Section 7AA finals as he scored the game-tying goal with 10 seconds left and then had the game-winner in double overtime against Elk River, sending Grand Rapids into the finals against Duluth East. Peterson was ranked 77th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Minnesota in the sixth round (167th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Peterson committed to playing college hockey at Nebraska-Omaha in 2014-15 in August before skating for the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers and Grand Rapids HS. He played 27 regular season games with Sioux City and led the Musketeers in scoring in the playoffs. He was named Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey after finishing with 65 points in 25 games for Grand Rapids in his senior season. After a slow start in USHL play, he scored 6 goals with 15 assists and was +6 with 16 penalty minutes during the regular season for Sioux City. The Musketeers finished second in the Western Conference and reached the second round in the playoffs. Peterson scored 5 goals with 4 assists and was +5 with 4 penalty minutes in eight playoff games. He scored 35 goals with 30 assists and 8 penalty minutes with Grand Rapids. The Thunderhawks reached the Section 7AA semifinals, falling to Duluth East, 5-2.
2014-15: Peterson skated in all 39 games for Nebraska-Omaha in his freshman season. He scored 11 goals with 10 assists and was -2 with 18 penalty minutes. The Mavericks finished third in the NCHC, receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Midwest Regional after being swept by St. Cloud State in the NCHC quarterfinals. UN-O defeated Harvard (4-1) and RIT (4-0) to win the Midwest Regional before falling 4-1 to eventual national champion Providence in the Frozen Four semifinals.
2015-16: Peterson began the season with Nebraska-Omaha, skating in 14 games with the Mavericks before transferring to Minnesota-Duluth. He had 1 assist and was -5 with 6 penalty minutes while with Omaha. Peterson practiced with the Bulldogs but is ineligible to play in a game until January 2017.
Peterson is a skilled center with good size. Dominant at the high school level in Minnesota, he made the jump to college hockey after half a season in the USHL and was among the leading goal scorers for Nebraska-Omaha as a freshman. His overall game is a work in progress but he likes to shoot the puck and will go to the net to create a scoring chance.
Peterson skated in 14 games with Nebraska-Omaha in 2015-16 before transferring to Minnesota-Duluth for family reasons — moving closer to his home in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Peterson is hoping an NCAA appeal will allow him to regain a year of eligibility but as of now he will not be able to play for the Bulldogs until January 2017. Long-range his scoring instincts and technical skills suggest he can be an effective second or third line forward one day.