The Sarnia Sting of the OHL have produced some notable and controversial draft picks in recent years. Last year, the Sting produced only one draft pick — Jamieson Rees. The last player to make the NHL - Jacob Chychrun. The last Devils pick — The polarizing Pavel Zacha. Some other notable players include draft bust Nail Yakupov, controversial Alex Galchenyuk, and Ranger young star Anthony DeAngelo.
Last season, the Sting were nothing short of awful. They were the worst in their conference, with a 22-34-5 record. In spite of this, Perreault stood out as a quality prospect, making his name with his strong play. Perreault hails from Montreal, though has duel American citizenship. Now, let’s go through his stats and scouting reports, to figure out what kind of player he is.
Background and Statistics
Jacob Perreault is a 5’11, 198 lb center out of the Sarnia Sting. He was born on April 15, 2002. Perreault comes from a hockey family, with father Yanic Perreault having played 15 years in the NHL for teams such as the Maple Leafs, Canadiens and Kings. He produced well for his under 16 team, getting himself selected in the first round of the OHL entry draft.
In his rookie season for the Sting, Perreault recorded 30 goals and 25 assists, and was selected for the Canadien Under-17 Hockey Challenge team, where he recorded 2 goals in 6 games. He was a top 5 rookie point scorer, only behind top prospects Cole Perfetti, Marco Rossi, Quinton Byfield, and ahead of top draft pick Jean-Luc Foudy.
With an awful Sting team in his Sophomore year, Perreault exploded offensively, with 39 goals and 31 assists in 59 games. This, however, came with a team high +/- of -34, which tied for 10th worst in the entire OHL. Of his points, 29 came on the power play, showing he is a pure offensive threat.
As an aside, at the CHL top prospect game tests, Perreault outperformed Jean Luc Foudy and other top prospects and recorded top 5 skating skills in many categories.
Where is Jacob Perreault ranked?
#28 - Hockey Prospect
#22 - Future Considerations
#27 - ISS Hockey
#21 - McKeen’s Hockey
#17 - NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
#22 - EliteProspects
Per McKeen’s Hockey
At the heart of Perreault’s game is his speed and creativity with the puck. He loves to lead the attack and be the one with the puck on his stick as the Sting push across the blueline. He backs down defenders with his ability to create in transition and he has the puck skill to create additional space for himself. Perreault also has a great shot and release which he can use while in full stride or when cutting to the middle. His goal scoring instincts are excellent without the puck and the puck seems to follow him in the offensive zone because of his anticipation and awareness.
However, his game does not come without some question marks. This summer, Perreault was a surprising cut from the Canadian Hlinka/Gretzky team, despite a strong performance offensively at the camp. This likely had to do with Perreault’s play in the other two zones. His play without the puck can leave some to be desired, as effort and awareness on the backcheck is quite inconsistent. Growth is definitely required of him as a two-way player. Additionally, Perreault can be prone to turnovers in the neutral zone that cost his team. His puck management and decision making will need to improve.
Clearly an excellent offensive forward, with great speed and shot, Perreault’s true weakness is his lack of defensive effort, and neutral zone turnovers stemming from poor decision making. It’s worth noting that, despite his extremely effective offense, his defense was bad enough where, despite being a potential first round pick, he was cut from the Canadien team. Whichever NHL team thinks of drafting him will likely keep this in mind.
The son of former NHLer Yanic Perreault, he is a dangerous offensive player. Perreault has slick hands and is dangerous in one-on-one situations. He can score in a variety of ways, with the moves to beat goalies in tight, an excellent wrist shot with a deceptive release, an outstanding one-timer, a very good snapshot, and even a strong backhand. His vision and hockey IQ are also very strong for his age. He gets open without the puck and makes smart passes to teammates when he has it.
While not focusing on the negatives, this brief report focuses again on his offensive capabilities. To note: He is not a one-dimensional player, holding many different tricks to score. Offensively, he seems perfect: Fast, good hands, and an excellent shot. Again however, no positive notes on defensive or off-puck play.
Per the OHL official Youtube Channel
These highlights show everything Perreault is capable of. He is an excellent shooter, with an amazingly quick release that generates a deceptive amount of powers. He seems to excel in shot placements, scoring unreal goals from near-impossible angles. He shoots, and scores, from anywhere on the ice.
Per The Prospect Film Room
More shots, more goals, and more examples of his skills offensively.
My Take: All offense, no defense prospects are very risky. While he clearly has the ability to score the puck, it remains to be seen if his lack of effort on defense was a result of an extremely poor Sting team, or a lack of effort on his own part.
Regardless, I would feel comfortable if the Devils scouts believe they can develop Perreault into a more complete player. I love his shot, and his scoring ability. If developed correctly, this player has the potential to be a star. At the same time, he also has a non-zero chance of busting completely, and is more of a project than a complete package at this point.