We’re getting into the back half of the first round in our draft board, and by now it should be getting pretty clear just how deep this draft class is. We’re well past the top 10 and there are still some really great picks to be had—case in point, Jacob Perreault. Another strong scorer in the OHL, he’s got a wicked shot—probably the best outside of the very top prospect group—and could well be an intriguing addition for a team looking to add a true scorer to their mix. Can you think of someone like that?
BSH 2020 Community Draft Board, No. 17: Jacob Perreault
Team: Sarnia (OHL)
Statistics: 39 G, 31 A in 57 GP
No. 17 (NA skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 23 by Future Considerations
No. 27 by ISS Hockey
No. 17 by Wheeler/The Athletic
What’s there to like?
What really stands out about Perreault’s game, as you may have gathered already, is his offensive production. He was scoring comfortably above a point per game clip in his last season with Sarnia, totaling 70 points over 57 games, which was good for second in total scoring on his team, behind just Sean Josling (who’s three years older than Perreault), and comfortably first in goals.
And the reason he’s able to this is because he has a pretty stellar shot, indeed, one of the best in this draft class. It’s quick, it’s accurate, and he’s also pretty consistently been able to get enough on that shot to convert on those made from a distance, making them just as dangerous as those from generally more high danger locations. He’s also a strong passer, to boot, which gives his offensive game an extra bit of dimension. He’s shown prowess scoring at 5-on-5, but has also flexed particular strength in beating goalies on tough angle shots on the power play, established himself as a distinct threat therein.
What’s not to like?
One area that needs some work is his skating, to be sure. He’s shown in flashes that his speed can be good when he gets moving, but there are also times when his foot speed seems lacking, as with his overall quickness. That may well be fixable, but he’s going to have to put in some work to get it to where it needs to be.
There are also some questions of his consistency (which, for what it’s worth, hasn’t been a universal concern among scouts). We’ve seen times where he can look active and engaged in plays, and then others where he looks passive and a little bit slow. He can be a strong playmaker and give defenders fits, but he can also get caught looking like he’s forcing plays, and getting himself into trouble. And maybe this is just a product of a young player not having figured it all out yet, and all of that can be fixed with a bit of time with NHL development coaches, but that’s not quite a sure thing (as we’ve seen), so that’s a bet that a team looking to draft him would have to take.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
Perreault figures to be a few years away from making the jump to the NHL level, and that makes it tough to say if there definitely is or isn’t a place in the lineup for him, because we know how many things can change in the span of a few years (especially with an expansion draft about to be in the mix). The Flyers do have a fair few wingers already in the system, and a number in the pipeline that look like they might work out to be true NHL talent, but that doesn’t mean the Flyers shouldn’t draft another winger if they like his upside.
Because, as we’ve talked about throughout these draft board pieces, the Flyers, to perhaps oversimplify, have a lot of passers in the system, but not a lot of shooters. And if they decide that this is a skillset they’d like to target, and area they’d like to bolster, Perrault certainly would address that need. There may well be a stylistic fit there, and finding a spot on the roster for him, should he earn it, would be a bridge they’d have to cross when they get to it.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
There’s some variance here with where Perreault is expected to go—as we saw above, some of the major rankings have him as low as 27, some as high as 17, and additionally on Corey Pronman’s new ranking over at the Athletic, he has him 19th—so it is possible that he would still be on the board by the time the Flyers pick at 23. And that’s kind of what they would need to happen if they wanted him, because Chuck Fletcher’s comments in his media availability yesterday suggest that they’re much more likely to stay put or move down than move up to grab a player they really want. So if Perreault is still on the board in the early 20s, he might just be ripe for the taking.
2020 BSH Community Draft Board
- Alexis Lafreniere — LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
- Quinton Byfield — C, Sudbury (OHL)
- Marco Rossi — C, Ottawa (OHL)
- Tim Stützle — LW/C, Manheim (DEL)
- Cole Perfetti — LW/C, Saginaw (OHL)
- Lucas Raymond — RW, Frölunda (SHL)
- Jamie Drysdale — D, Erie (OHL)
- Alexander Holtz — LW/RW, Djurgardens (SHL)
- Yaroslav Askarov — G, SKA (KHL)
- Anton Lundell — C, HIFK (Liiga)
- Connor Zary — C, Kamloops (WHL)
- Seth Jarvis — RW/C, Portland (WHL)
- Jake Sanderson — D, USNTDP (USHL)
- Noel Gunler — RW/LW, Lulea (SHL)
- Jan Mysak — C, Hamilton (OHL)
- Jack Quinn — RW, Ottawa (OHL)
- Jacob Perreault — RW, Sarnia (OHL)