The moment the New York Rangers won the number one pick in this year’s draft, Wings’ fans were jolted from their peaceful Lafrenière-dream. It was like a dream you have the night before Christmas: eagerly looking forward to waking up, you constantly check the clock, anticipating Santa gifting you the best player in the draft. A single jet-stream shooting a lottery ball up in the air ended that dream. But that dream doesn’t have to end. This draft is deep – there’s no real consensus on draft order and the Wings have several holes to fill.
Team – Saginaw spirit – OHL
Age – 18
Height – 5’10”
Weight – 177 lbs
Nation – Canada
Shoots – Left
Cupid is associated with arrows, love and Valentine’s day. On the ice – Cupid means: great shooting, Stanley Cup playoffs and of course, love. These intangibles are what make Cole Perfetti Cupid on-ice. 111 points in 61 games in the OHL is impressive, but what Perfetti did in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2019 is truly Cupid-esque. Eight goals, twelve points and three goals in a shootout propelled his team to the final. This is not something every prospect can lay claim to. While the poise and skill to score three goals in a shootout against the same goalie is difficult to measure, his humility is undeniable.
Perfetti on the shoot out –
“I have two moves that I always go to, almost every time, but after the third breakaway I was kind of just getting a little stuck and I did not know what to do. So I just came down, I tried to make a move and shoot. And it worked.”
TSN’s Director of Scouting Craig Button –
“Call it hockey sense, call it feel, he has the best IQ of any player in the 2020 NHL draft.”
Outstanding shift by Cole Perfetti here. Passes the puck off the wall to himself twice, I love the creativity. pic.twitter.com/wGOgEOmZKH
— Sam (@DraftLook) April 12, 2020
Whether you’re a die-hard hockey fan or a newcomer, when you watch Perfetti you witness his hockey intelligence every single play. However, it’s his self-awareness and humility that separate him from the rest. There are some players who possess the know-how to pass the puck off the wall to themselves but how many will admit to having only two go-to moves in a shootout, utilizing the fake-it-till-you-make-it strategy on the third, and then immediately going to practice to make sure that never happens again? Not many. There is only one Cupid. If Yzerman drafts Perfetti, Wings’ fans should expect a player that will be constantly analyzing, critiquing and searching for ways to improve his personal performance and the team’s as a whole. And while Perfetti’s size will make it difficult to immediately play top center minutes in the NHL, the Wings have a history of patiently developing their talent. Two or three years down the road and five pounds of added muscle mass, the Wings could have a top-line center in their system.