Before the NHL draft on June 28-29, Detroit Hockey Now will review nine different players who have a chance to be selected ninth overall by the Detroit Red Wings. Today’s eighth installment looks at U.S. National Team Development Program forward Gabe Perreault.
Position: Right Wing; Hgt./Wgt: 5-11/165
Playing style: Projects to be a point-producing top line forward.
NHL Central Scouting Ranking: 10th among North American skaters
League: United States Hockey League
Gabe is the son of former NHL player Yanic Perreault. The elder Perreault was a smart, responsible forward. He played 14 seasons for six NHL teams (Toronto, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, Phoenix and Chicago), totaling 247 goals and 516 points in 859 games. Yanic netted 20 or more goals five times in the NHL and was a 51-goal scorer one season in the now-defunct IHL. Yanic was a respected NHL player, and Gabe could reach a higher level. He projects to be top line forward. Gabe scored 46 goals and finished with 110 points for USA in 55 games this season. Just in the USHL, Gabe had 45 points in 23 games. His passing ability and finishing touch are equally strong. He doesn’t have explosive speed, but it doesn’t matter because he is always one step ahead of everyone on the ice because of his thinking. He can make plays when he’s skating at his top speed.
Why the Red Wings Might Select Him
The Red Wings fully understand that you can’t have enough skilled offensive players. They are currently looking in the trade market to find players with a scoring touch. If they take Perreault, they can start growing their own. Perreault has overflowing hockey sense in his DNA. Perreault’s instincts often were often the catalyst for scoring plays for USA’s top line. Defenses can’t lock on to him. He’s slippery, elusive, and hard to defend because of the way he cuts through traffic. He would be a worthy candidate for the No. 9 pick.
Why the Red Wings Might Not Select Him
The Red Wings are looking for skilled players like Perreault to be sure, but are also hoping to build a team with more size and push-back than they have now. He’s a creative, inventive performer, not a physical specimen. There are some available options for the ninth overall pick for players with skill and more size.