Jets select Cole Perfetti with 10th-overall pick in 2020 NHL Draft –


Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff spoke about the type of player he feels the team is getting with Cole Perfetti.

The Winnipeg Jets selected skilled Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti with the 10th-overall pick Tuesday on the first day of the 2020 NHL Draft.

Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff invited Crystal Hawerchuk, the widow of late Jets legend Dale Hawerchuk, to make the selection.

Crystal Hawerchuk, wife of the late Dale Hawerchuk, announces Cole Perfetti as the @NHLJets 10th overall selection. #NHLDraft | #NHLonSN

Perfetti was junior hockey’s top academic performer in 2019-20 and was the third-highest scorer among all CHL skaters, scoring 37 goals and 74 assists in 61 games.

“I think his ceiling’s limitless,” Spirit head coach Chris Lazary said of the left-shot winger. “I think he could be one of the players out of this draft that goes on and plays 15 years, and has a lot of career accomplishments.”

“He’s not overly lightning-quick with his skating, but man, his playmaking, his creativeness, his ability to manipulate defenders, his change of direction, his deception. All those things make Kucherov one of the best players in the National Hockey League,” Lazary said. “And to me, when I watch Kucherov play, it’s like watching Cole Perfetti play.”

Heading into Tuesday’s draft, Cheveldayoff said he planned on taking the best player available rather than drafting positionally.

The Jets finished fourth in the Central Division in 2019-20 and were eliminated by the Calgary Flames in the qualifying round. It has been back-to-back disappointing playoff exits for Winnipeg after the team advanced to the Western Conference Final in 2018.

It’s an important off-season for Cheveldayoff. One of his decisions will be what to do with star winger Patrik Laine. The 2016 second-overall pick’s name has been mentioned in trade rumours lately.

“We have a real strong core,” Cheveldayoff said of his team earlier this week when addressing his team’s off-season outlook. “You look at the talent we do have on the top end of our forward group, it’s very strong. You look at our goaltending situation, obviously it’s very strong. We have a couple of young players that are going to turn pro in (Ville) Heinola and (Dylan) Samberg that we’re excited that now they’re in that pro phase and that they’re opportunities and options for us to continue to grow with.

“There’s obviously desires to be active in the free-agent market and desires to potentially be active in the trade market, if something is there that makes sense that makes our organization better.”

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Cole Perfetti,Winnipeg Jets

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