Cole Perfetti – 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

The Hockey Writers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Guide

Cole Perfetti

2019-20 Team: Saginaw Spirit (#97
Date of Birth: Jan. 1, 2002
Place of Birth: Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 177-pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: Center
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible

Rankings

The 2019-20 season was a great one for Cole Perfetti’s draft stock. It was already known that the 18-year-old has an elite shot that leaves a lot to admire, including his release, accuracy and power. What people weren’t sure about heading into the 2019-20 season, however, was if Perfetti could be more than a one-dimensional scorer.

To be clear, Perfetti’s shot and awareness on its own would probably be enough to make him a first-round draft pick. What he did to elevate his status so high heading into the 2020 NHL Draft, however, was prove that he is a legitimate threat as both a goal-scorer and a playmaker.

Cole Perfetti, OHL, Saginaw Spirit
Cole Perfetti (Photo courtesy of CHL Images)

Perfetti would score 37 goals in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 season, but the real difference between both years was Perfetti’s increase in assists from 37 to 74 in two less games.

It wasn’t just the fact that he doubled his assist total that brought so many eyes towards him this year, though, but rather the elite awareness he has in the offensive zone. Some of the best offensive instincts in the class, Perfetti is known for drawing attention towards him which leaves lanes open for his teammates to not only receive a pass, but release a prime scoring opportunity as a result.

As good without the puck as he is with the puck in the offensive zone, Perfetti has the potential to be an elite point producer at the next level.

Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Perfetti’s skating is also among the best in the class and it’s highlighted by his lateral quickness and balance that let him make plays with little space. There’s definitely room to grow as far as straight-line speed is concerned, but that’s not likely to impact his ability to produce offensively.

Other THW Draft Profiles

Cole Perfetti – NHL Draft Projection

When it comes to draft position, it would be shocking to see Perfetti fall anywhere outside of the top-10 of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. At the same time, he’s not likely to inside the top-five given the talent at the top of this class. A realistic range for him would be anywhere between pick six and pick 10.

Quotables

“A highly productive pivot who can set it up almost as well as he can finish it himself. Has nice puck skills to go along with high-end intelligence. Lacks the two-step quickness to be considered a locked-in future star, but he’s not far off.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects

“Sixth sense for where, when and how to get to a place to create good scoring opportunities individually or for teammates.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet

“A skilled left-hander with high hockey IQ, compete and a great shot, Perfetti ranks second in the OHL with 104 points (36 goals, 68 assists) in 58 games.” – Mike Morreale, NHL.com

Strengths

  • Scoring
  • Hockey IQ
  • Offensive decision-making
  • Shot

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Defensive awareness
  • Physicality

NHL Potential

Perfetti’s offensive ability is among the best in the entire class. For a team looking to add a potential top-line scorer, they could certainly do worse than the Spirit forward. He may not be the most well-rounded forward as far as 200-foot ability is concerned, but the offensive instincts should be enough to make up for that.

Risk/Reward Analysis

Risk – 2.5/5, Reward – 4.5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense – 9/10, Defense – 6.5/10

Awards/Achievements

  • Hlinka Gretzky Cup Silver Medal – 2019-20
  • OHL First All-Rookie Team – 2018-19
  • OHL Most Goals by Rookie (37) – 2018-19
  • OHL Most Points by Rookie (74) – 2018-19

Interview/Profile Links

Videos

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