The Saginaw Spirit
announced the signing of Cole Perfetti,
the team's top pick in the 2018 Ontario Hockey League priority selection draft, to an OHL standard player agreement at a press conference at the Dow Event Center on Wednesday afternoon.
“I'm very excited to have Cole and his family here today and welcome the next wave of talent into our organization,” Drinkill said. “We drafted Cole very high, his talent and ability speaks for itself and to be able to have him commit to the community and (with) what we're building here in Saginaw really means a lot to us and the ownership.”
Similar to Blade Jenkins,
Saginaw's top pick in the 2016 OHL draft, Perfetti had previously committed to play NCAA hockey at the University of Michigan, but ultimately decided his best route to being drafted in the NHL would be by playing in the OHL, as opposed to the NCAA route.
Jenkins is very close to realizing that dream following a very good rookie campaign in the OHL, where he had 44-points (20-goals, 24-assists) and finished the season ranked No. 26 on NHL central scouting's list of the top North American skaters,
which translates to him likely hearing his name called at the 2018 NHL draft at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX on June 22-23 in a couple weeks.
For Perfetti, however, it was a trip to Saginaw for rookie camp back in May which sold him on the Spirit and the city of Saginaw.
“When I came down for rookie camp everyone was just so welcoming and nice, the players and the ownership group,” Perfetti said. “The community was just awesome and I just felt like the support was awesome here. So, I just felt like this was the right place to further my hockey career and to give me the best chance to become a pro hockey player.”
Perfetti, a left-shooting forward who has extraordinary hockey-sense and great awareness on the ice, had an impressive 125-point (52-goals, 73-assists) season playing for the Vaughan Kings in the GTHL last year, and scouts predict the 5-foot-8, 171-pound forward can be a top-6 forward who contributes on the power play right away in the OHL next year.
The Whitby, ON native is another exceptional piece in the championship puzzle which Drinkill is building for the Spirit program and with his signing today, it looks like he'll be joining his new Saginaw Spirit teammates on the ice when they open the 2018-19 OHL season at home against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at 7:05 pm on Wednesday Sep. 19, at the Dow Event Center.