Ducks draft Perreault in first round with 27th overall pick

Sarnia Sting right-winger Jacob Perreault went to the Anaheim Ducks with the 27th overall pick in the NHL draft Tuesday night.

Sarnia Sting's Jacob Perreault (44) plays against the Barrie Colts at Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia, Ont., on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Mark Malone/Chatham Daily News/Postmedia Network

Share Adjust Comment Print

Sarnia Sting right-winger Jacob Perreault went to the Anaheim Ducks with the 27th overall pick in the NHL draft Tuesday night.

The Ducks landed a player who’s flown under the radar, Sting general manager Dylan Seca said.

“By the time he gets into the league, I think he’ll really surpass a lot of players who were drafted ahead of him but probably shouldn’t have (been),” Seca said. “… His upside is just so high compared to some of the other guys you hear mentioned.”

The 18-year-old Perreault was 17th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings.

“Whatever team drafts me, I’ll be happy with,” Perreault said before the draft. “There’s going to be some people that aren’t going to be happy, but that’s something you can’t control.

“You’ve just got to focus on yourself and do what you can do and put everything on your side to succeed. Practise as much as you can, train as much as you can, and just have no regrets once you’re done playing.”

After a 30-goal, 55-point rookie season in 2018-19, he scored a team-leading 39 goals and added a career-high 31 assists in 57 games last season.

Perreault has more than just a lethal shot. He has a rare combination of skill, scoring ability and experience, Seca said.

“That’s so unique. It’s so hard to find that scorer. But he creates a lot on his own,” Seca said. “That’s a big thing in today’s game. The one-on-one game, the ability to make things happen out of what seems like a non-situation where you’re going to score.

“He’s got to beat a defender and then he’s got to beat somebody else, or he can put a shot through a small area where the majority of guys would hit a shin pad. He’s just got that unique ability.”

The draft was held online this year, so Perreault watched with his family at their home in Magog, Que.

“I really think whoever drafts him tonight going’s to be super excited,” Seca said before the draft. “Some of the teams I’ve talked to that are drafting later in the first are really hoping he falls to them because that’s how they look at him. Like, ‘We’re going to get a top-10 talent that’s just going to slide through to the bottom end of the first or the midway of the first.’”

The five-foot-11, 192-pound Perreault took part in Hockey Canada’s national junior team summer development camp online in late July.

The camp is part of Team Canada’s selection process for the 2021 world junior championship.

The pre-draft interviews with NHL teams and the Hockey Canada camp helped Perreault see what’s possible in his future, Seca said.

“It’s really opened his eyes and really, really made him super serious about where he’s at and getting to the point where he wants to be an NHL player,” the Sting GM said. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Perreault placed second overall out of 40 players in on-ice skills testing at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game combine in January. Those results didn’t surprise Sting officials or scouts who follow the team, Seca said.

“Anyone who’s an Ontario-based scout for an NHL team, they’ve seen him and they know,” he said. “In any given game, he flashes. … There’s always multiple shifts that you can say, ‘Whoa, look at that!’ That always happens every game.”