With the OHL not yet ready to begin, there was no choice. If Cole Perfetti was to play he’d have to play with the Winnipeg Jets’ AHL affiliate the Manitoba Moose. So he suited up with the team.
He didn’t look out of place at all. In his first professional game on Monday, he scored a goal. In a way, that’s not surprising because the 18-year-old Perfetti is a smart young player with a high hockey IQ and he’s loaded with talent. (from “Perfetti scores in debut, but Moose drop opener,” Paul Friesen, Winnipeg Sun, 16/02/21).
Although Perfetti isn’t the fastest skater, his reputation is that he has a great shot. In fact, Perfetti finished second in OHL scoring last year when he scored 37 goals and 111 points in only 61 games. Perfetti was the Jets’ round one (10th overall) choice in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
The Jets feel fortunate to get him there because he was projected to be chosen much higher. After the draft, the Jets signed Perfetti to an entry-level contract for an AAV of $1,658,333 over its three-year term. The projection is that Perfetti is destined to become a top-six forward once he makes the Jets lineup.
So he started well. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Perfetti scored one of his team’s two goals in a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Marlies. There is no doubt that Jets’ fans will watch this youngster as he rises in the organization’s system. Expect him to land with the Jet’s roster in the next few seasons.