Sting’s Perreault likely first round pick in NHL entry draft

Sarnia Sting forward Jacob Perreault celebrates a goal against the Kingston Frontenacs. October 20, 2019. (Photo provided by Metcalfe Photography)

Sarnia Sting forward Jacob Perreault could be chosen late in the opening round of the National Hockey League draft which gets underway Tuesday night.

NHL Central Scouting has Perreault listed as the 17th best North American skater in its final rankings ahead of this year’s virtual event.

The pandemic-shortened season was Perreault’s second in a Sting uniform. He scored 39 goals and added 31 assists for 70 points in 57 games played.

In his rookie campaign he potted 30 goals and dished out 25 assists in 63 games.

Even if Perreault isn’t taken on Tuesday, he’s likely a sure bet to be chosen in round two.

Scouts and hockey experts have praised Perreault for his speed and creativity with the puck along with a strong shot and release. He’s described as being strong on faceoffs, like his father, former NHLer Yanic Perreault, but needs to work on his strength and defensive zone coverage.

Rimouski’s Alexis Lafreniere remains at the top of the North American rankings list, followed by Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, and Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters.

Defenceman Jake Sanderson from the Team USA program, and Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti round out the top five.

The New York Rangers have the first pick overall. The Toronto Maple Leafs will choose 15th, while the Detroit Red Wings have the fourth selection.