Peterson is believed to be the NHL's first Black assistant GM, according to the club.
"It's exciting whenever you get a chance to kind of reignite a boyhood dream of chasing the Stanley Cup, being in the National Hockey League," Peterson told NHL.com's William Douglas. "Having the opportunity to be the first at something is even more exciting, something I never would have expected."
Panthers GM Bill Zito said Tuesday that though he's grateful to give Peterson the opportunity to break barriers, he made the move to improve his team.
"If it means that we're expanding opportunities for people in hockey, then I'm humbled. But this was a hockey hire," Zito told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "Hockey is such a great game. We need to make it accessible. I'm hopeful that maybe someone else can get a chance."
The GM touted Peterson's qualifications for the role.
"His substantive hockey experience as a player, significant developmental and evaluation skills, and business acumen as a negotiator combine to form an elite skill set that is very difficult to find in our sport," Zito said in the team's statement. "There are many who can excel in one of those disciplines, but few who excel in all three."
The 39-year-old most recently served as vice president of hockey for Wasserman Media Group, a multi-sport marketing and talent management company. He's been a certified NHL player agent since 2009.
Peterson suited up for four seasons with Boston College as a defenseman from 2000-2004, helping the school win the national championship in 2001. He then played five seasons in the minors before transitioning to player representation.
The Massachusetts-born executive reunites with Zito, who founded Acme World Sports. Wasserman acquired Acme in June. Zito worked with Peterson at Acme before the Columbus Blue Jackets hired the now-Florida GM in 2013.
The Panthers also brought in former agent Paul Krepelka as an assistant GM earlier in November.