Prospect Update: Jacob Perreault

Photo: San Diego Gulls

By Thomas Harrington

Anaheim’s second first round pick from 2020, Jacob Perreault spent all of last season playing in the AHL because of the pandemic.

As a player drafted out of Canadian Junior Hockey, Perreault is ineligible to play in the AHL until he’s 20. However, because junior hockey was delayed last season, and cancelled completely in the case of the OHL, Perreault’s league, he was able to spend the entire year with San Diego. Despite his age and inexperience, Perreault played well for the Gulls.

While he was overwhelmed at times, I was happy with his production, as he scored three goals and 17 points in 27 games. He did miss 11 games in March with an injury, but was back in the lineup in early April. What impressed me the most was his one-timer from the wing on the power play. If he can really develop the accuracy of that shot, Anaheim could have a lethal power play option for years to come. Despite playing in only 27 games, his 14 assists were tied for fourth on the team.

Back in July, it was revealed that a special agreement was being worked on with the Canadian junior leagues. Not wanting to hinder player development, if a player is supposed to be in juniors this coming season but played in at least 20 AHL games last year, then they will be allowed to play in the AHL this coming season. As a result, Perreault should be suiting up for the Gulls for the second year in a row. He is also eligible to play for Team Canada at the World Juniors this year, but it remains to be seen if the Ducks will let him participate or not.

My expectation for Perreault is simple: be better than he was last year. As an 18 year-old, he had a solid first season with the Gulls, though he struggled at times. A year later and physically more mature, he needs to step up and start scoring at a much more consistent rate. He got a lot of time in San Diego’s top six last year and should get even more time there this year. Also, Perreault only took 36 shots on goal last year. For a player known for his shooting ability, that number needs to go up, especially if he wants to score 10+ goals this coming season.

Given that he’s in the AHL, it would be relatively easy for the Ducks to call Perreault up. The question really comes down to if he’s ready. Personally, based on last season, I don’t think he’s quite there. However, if Perreault has put in a lot of work in the offseason and has a great training camp, I could see him getting time with the Ducks at some point this season. But I think his NHL debut is more likely to happen in the 2022-2023 season.

Despite playing in the AHL last year, Perreault’s three-year entry-level contract has yet to begin. If he plays in 10 or more NHL games this year, then this year will count as the first year of his contract. If he plays less than that, then the contract will not officially begin until the following season. So he’ll be a restricted free agent in either three or four years. At that time, I do believe that Anaheim will want to re-sign him, but given how far out that is, it’s impossible to tell whether or not it will be to a short bridge deal or a long term contract.

The next prospect update will be on Jamie Drysdale.

Related Articles:

Prospect Update: Jackson LaCombe

Prospect Update: Trevor Janicke

Prospect Update: Jack Perbix

Prospect Update: Black McLaughlin

Prospect Update: Josh Mahura

Prospect Update: Henry Thrun

Prospect Update: Brayden Tracey

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September 25th, 2021


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