Weight: 198 pounds
Current team: Sarnia, OHL
Ranked 20th by HockeyProspect and 24th by Future Considerations
2018-19 stats: 30g, 25a, 55p in 63 games
2019-20 stats: 1g, 3a, 4p in 3 games
Jacob Perreault is a player that impressed me as a rookie last season when I was watching the Sting for Jamieson Rees and a few other players. Perreault is a talented goal scorer with good strength and a lot of speed. He may not be as talented as some of the players in his draft class, but he’d be a great pick in the middle of the first round. This is a player that I’d love for the Hurricanes to draft, and it’s only September. He’s quick, a right shot, a pure goal scorer, and he also has good hockey sense. Perreault has the potential to be a top six forward with a ceiling of roughly 50-60 points. The majority of his points will be goals, and I could see him scoring 30 goals on multiple occasions in the NHL. He will be getting top six minutes with Sarnia this season.
- Shooting. Perreault is a sniper. He’s one of the best draft eligible shooters in the OHL this season, and it’s not out of the question to expect 40 goals from him. His shot is quick, accurate, and his placement is impeccable. Perreault’s shot is his best asset without a doubt, and one of the few ways that he creates offense.
- Skating. Perreault is quick and one of the fastest players on Sarnia. His speed allows for him to dish out the puck and then move to an open patch of ice quickly for a shooting opportunity. There are times where I notice that he has issues with playing at a slower pace, but those can be worked out. For now, I see a player whose edgework and turns are elite. His speed is also elite, and his acceleration is high-end.
- Stickhandling. Perreault is a great stickhandler and sometimes uses that to create separation from a defender in order to shoot.
- Hockey sense. Perreault always knows how to read the ice and assess the best options. He’s a player that can find open spaces of ice in order to get in position for a shot or a place for a pass. Perreault’s hockey sense may not be as great as the top 15 players in this draft class, and he may struggle with only focusing on the shot at times, but he’s a smart player.
- Strength. Part of what makes Perreault so valuable is his strength. He may be a little shorter than six feet tall, but he’s almost 200 pounds. He uses his strength to protect the puck and win puck battles, which is an advantage he has over some other goal scorers in this draft.
- Passing. Perreault knows how to pass, and his passes are usually quick, it’s just that his pass location can be off at times. They’re not always accurate, but he’s also a very capable playmaker. I still don’t see him being a top playmaker in the NHL, but he’ll be able to hold his own.
In need of improvement
- Discipline. Perreault takes a lot of penalties, and a lot of those penalties hurt his team. No player can be productive when they spend time in the penalty box, but it’s worse when you lose your second best goal scorer.
- Defense. Perreault can win a lot of puck battles, but his two way game leaves much to be desired. His gaps aren’t the best and there are times when he’ll lose his man. It’s a little too early to be calling this a weakness, but it’s an area that needs to be improved
Perreault is capable of playing top minutes and scoring 30 goals at the NHL level if he is developed correctly. He’s a player that has been entertaining to watch in every time that I have viewed him, which is what makes him such a good prospect. There’s top six upside in his game, but he may take a little while longer than some prospects do since his two-way game needs a lot of work. I’m a big fan of Perreault as a late first round option and I hope that he will still continue to impress throughout the season.
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