Prospects News & Rumors: Perreault, L’Heureux & Hockey East

The Anaheim Ducks sign one of their first-round picks from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. One of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s (QMJHL) top prospects for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft was ejected for fighting on Friday and Hockey East announces their plan for return to play.

Ducks Sign Jacob Perreault

The Ducks announced on Thursday that they’ve agreed to a standard three-year, entry-level contract for Jacob Perreault. Drafted 27th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Sarnia Sting. Perreault followed up an impressive rookie season that saw him produce 30 goals and 25 assists for 55 points in 63 games played with another 30-plus goal season. He finished the shortened 2019-20 season with 39 goals and 31 assists for 70 points in 57 games played.

THW’s Dayton Reimer had this to say about Perreault’s potential impact on the Ducks organization:

Teams always need goals, and the Ducks had one of the lowest totals in the NHL in 2019-20. They have several top wingers coming up in Troy Terry, Max Comtois, and Brayden Tracey, but with Perreault, their forward corp gets all that more dangerous. He may have one of the highest upsides at the draft, with the potential to be a top-seven scorer of this draft class. He possesses an incredible shot, but he is much more than a one-dimensional sniper, having rounded out his game with the Sting this past season. The Ducks made a great move picking up one of the biggest sliders of the first round.

Perreault will have to wait to return to play for the 2020-21 season, as the OHL has pushed their projected start date back until February. The Ducks have the option to loan him overseas if both parties see fit. A few OHL players have already begun to make the switch with playing time sparse until the new year.

L’Heureux Given Double Game Misconduct

Halifax Mooseheads forward Zachary L’Heureux has gotten off to a hot start to the 2020-21 QMJHL season. The Montreal native is a top draft eligible prospect for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He had an impressive rookie year during the 2019-20 season amassing 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points in 55 games played with the Moncton Wildcats. He led all QMJHL rookies in points on the season. L’Heureux was acquired by the Mooseheads via trade back in June. Since the beginning of the 2020-21 QMJHL season he has amassed six goals and six assists for 12 points in 11 games played.

While the points are flowing in, he found himself ejected from Friday night’s game against the Charlottetown Islanders. Following a collision with Islanders forward Drew Elliot, L’Heureux instigated a fight and was ejected from the game. He was assessed penalties for instigating, fighting and two game misconducts. With the QMJHL playing with strict COVID-19 guidelines it wouldn’t be surprising to see further discipline assessed after the fact. However, no announcements on further action has been released at this time.

Zachary L'Heureux Moncton Wildcats
Zachary L’Heureux of the Moncton Wildcats (Daniel St-Louis)

Despite the set back, L’Heureux should still finish the season as one of the QMJHL’s top prospects eligible for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. There are some that believe he has the talent and skill to challenge for first overall in a race that is completely wide open. Even if he misses a few games due to the incident, there are bound to be a few NHL teams that love to see this side of his game.

Hockey East To Return in November

College hockey is starting to make it’s return amid the pandemic. With the Big Ten releasing a partial schedule, that news has been followed up by an announcement from Hockey East that they plan to resume play on Nov. 20. There was no further information released in regards to the schedule, attendance by fans, and how many games would actual take place. That news and more is expected to come in the coming weeks before the 2020-21 season begins. Hockey East boasts some of the best programs in Division 1 NCAA hockey including; Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern and Providence.

Of the remaining conferences only the ECAC haven’t announced a start date for their 2020-21 season. As previously stated, the Big Ten’s partial schedule has been announced with return to play schedule for Nov. 13. Atlantic Hockey also has eyes on a Nov. 13 start date. The WCHA is aiming to return to play on Nov. 20 and the NCHC will be the final league to return with a start date scheduled for Dec. 1.

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