by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of The Athletic.
The 2023 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first round picks. Draft 412 will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect and where they should land in the NHL Draft.
Name- Gabriel Perreault
Team- USNTDP Juniors (USHL)
HT/WT- 5’11” 165 lbs.
Home – Sherbrooke, Quebec
Hockey runs in the family of Gabriel Perreault. His father, Yanic, was drafted in the third round by the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 1991. His brother, Jacob, was drafted 27th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft.
In 2021, Perreault was drafted by the Chicago Sting in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection, the same team his brother was selected by a couple of years prior. When an opportunity to play in the USNTDP presented itself, Perreault took it and never looked back.
In the 2021-2022 season Perreault was a point-per-game player for the U17’s, while also playing 40 games in the USHL. This season Perreault has taken his game to a new stratosphere. With 132 points in 63 games for the NTDP, and 45 points in 23 games in the USHL, Perreault put himself in top 10 discussions for this year’s draft.
Though Perreault is considered a lower draft pick than his linemates, Will Smith and Ryan Leonard, no one has ever had a higher point total while playing for the USNTDP.
Perreault is a very creative playmaker with his stickhandling, and he loves beating defensemen one-on-one off the rush. Perreault will be valuable to a team's power play by distributing the puck to his teammates and playing outside on the perimeter.
He has quick hands and is able to change the trajectory of his shot. His hockey IQ is in the top of this class, he knows and understands situations.
Perreault does not have the footspeed you look for in the top part of an NHL Draft. He forgets about his defensive responsibilities at times, and his straight line acceleration seems to leave him a step behind. Perreault, a Boston College commit (just like his teammates Leonard and Smith) will need to bulk up and work on skating to become a better professional.
Draft 412 can see a little bit of Jake Guentzel in his game, but he needs to improve skating and he needs to definitely add bulk. Perreault can go anywhere from 10-32 in this draft.
Round 1- Top 20 / #17 on Draft 412 big board.