Jimmy Peters Jr. and his twin sister were born while their hockey-player father, Jimmy Sr., was in Europe, serving his country during World War II. The elder Peters had been a minor-pro skater who would, upon his return to Canada in 1945, embark on a nine-year NHL career with stints in Montreal, Boston, Detroit, and Chicago.
Of all the big-league stops made along the way, Detroit eventually became home base for the Peters clan. When Jimmy Jr. launched his juvenile career on ice, he would skate at the old Detroit Olympia where his father coached the team and famous Red Wings like Terry Sawchuk would drop by to give the little guys some giant tips.
In 1961-62, Peters crossed the border to skate for the Hamilton Red Wings of the OHA. He put in four successful seasons, winning a Memorial Cup at the end of his first campaign with the club. During the tournament, he banded with teammates Pit Martin, Paul Henderson and Lowell MacDonald to defeat their toughest foe, the St. Catharines Teepees who boasted a lineup that included Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, and Roger Crozier.
Peters turned pro in 1965 and embarked on a lengthy career as a wandering journeyman who fell into NHL favour on occasion between numerous stints in the minors with a variety of clubs. At the professional level, he was typically relegated to fourth-line duty where he became a defensive specialist with an honest streak. It was suggested that he was probably the only NHLer virtuous enough to confide to a referee that the goal his club was just awarded didn't really go in.
In all, Peters appeared in 54 games as a Red Wing from 1965 to 1968. He saw more consistent big-league action with the Los Angeles Kings where he performed defensive chores for two seasons before being dispatched to the AHL and the WHL for two years. In 1972, however, coach Bob Pulford surprised Peters by bringing him back to L.A. to skate on a defensive line with Real Lemieux. The duo killed penalties and helped shut down opposing lines for about a year and a half. At that time, Peters made his final descent to the minors where he rounded out his pro career with the Fort Worth Texans in 1976.