The NHL held a Zoom call with six of the top prospects for the 2020 draft on Thursday, and the Free Press’s Helene St. James took note of the comments made by one Cole Perfetti:
“I’ve met a couple times with the Detroit Red Wings over the break,” Perfetti said Thursday afternoon via Zoom. “With Mr. Yzerman, it’s been limited. He’s been on all the calls, but for the most part he’s had his camera off and very quiet, just kind of listening and taking notes. He didn’t really ask anything. I just tried to be myself, show my personality, and hopefully he enjoyed that and got a lot out of that. I hope I made a good impression.”
Perfetti comes across as personable and professional, and his hockey prowess has him ranked No. 5 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Perfetti lit up the Ontario Hockey League in 2019-20, recording 37 goals and 74 assists in 61 games with the Saginaw Spirit. He played both wing and center, though he said he prefers center because he feels he makes more of an impact in the middle.
Parrying a question about his size — he’s listed as 5-foot-10, 185 pounds — Perfetti noted that “the way the game is going, you have to be a quicker player and think the game at a very high level. That suits me very well. That’s what makes me the player I am.”
If Yzerman drafts Perfetti, the Wings could develop him similar to Dylan Larkin, who played wing his first year, then switched to his natural center position. But keeping Perfetti on the wing could make sense, if, down the road, Joe Veleno emerges as a No. 2 center. Perfetti would give the Wings a scoring option, potentially forming a second line with Veleno and Filip Zadina, while Larkin mans the top line with Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi.