Born and raised in Whitby, Ontario, hockey has always been a part of life for Cole Perfetti. Getting drafted by the Saginaw Spirit fifth overall in the 2018 OHL entry draft was the start of another chapter in Cole’s life. And what a chapter it’s been so far.
In his rookie season, Cole put up an impressive 74 points (37 goals, 37 assists) in just 63 games. Even more impressive than that was his improvement from one season to the next.
Zuke with the alley, Perfetti with the oop 🏀 @ColePerfetti91 puts the finishing touches on a 3-2 @SpiritHockey OT win, netting his 3️⃣0️⃣🚨 of the season with help from @RSuzuki61. pic.twitter.com/Cch2xkJytl
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) February 9, 2020
Road to 100
This season, Perfetti looked far more comfortable, and it showed on the ice. There was a week in mid-February where he scored 10 points in three games – including four goals and six assists. That was just one week.
Perfetti finished the season third overall in points in the Canadian Hockey League this year with 111, only behind fellow 2020 draft eligibles Marco Rossi (120) and Alexis Lafreniere (112). He scored 37 goals – same as his rookie season – but added 74 assists. He had 74 points total the previous year.
Perfetti spoke about the some of the differences in his game from year to year in the OHL so far, “In minor midget, I really thought I could slow the game down to whatever pace I wanted to, and then coming into last year being a 16 year old it’s hard to make that step and be able to do those things you could do in minor midget, I thought I handled it pretty well but definitely this year it’s just been on a whole new level, I’ve been able to just have way more confident with the puck and just make better plays and slow the game down a lot more.”
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) February 22, 2020
Perfetti became the first Spirit skater to reach the 100-point plateau since Jack Combs notched 42 goals and 58 assists in the 2007-08 season.
It’s no secret that Cole Perfetti’s hockey IQ is off the charts. He sees the game incredibly well, probably a good reason why he had 74 assists this year. He’s always 3 steps ahead of the play. So, what’s been the difference from last year to this year?
“I think my skating’s improved a lot, it’s opened up a lot for me, I’ve gotten a lot more confident with the puck. I’ve been able to slow the game down a lot more, I think when I have the puck I’ve been able to find the open guy a little bit more.” Perfetti said.
With his IQ and his shot already at a high level, Perfetti has been working on improving his skating and trying to slow the game down. He reads the play so well and can almost always anticipate what’s coming next. His strong lower body helps him protect the puck well and elude defenders.
Perfetti may not be the biggest guy out on the ice, but that hasn’t stopped him from dominating his opponents. He is the kind of player you want on your line because he makes the guys around him better.