Mathieu Perreault is an extremely hard player to solve. He can be a persistent nat, but is dogged by injury woes. He goes through massive scoring slumps. He is everything the Jets need in a player and yet there are times when you wonder just who cursed him in a past life. His skill is evident when he is healthy and he helps the Jets when he is in the lineup. He was given a four year extension before the season began and the Jets did not tell him at the end of the season if they would protect him in the upcoming expansion draft or not.
Aside from his four year extension and injury problems, Perreault is a key contributor to the Jets when given a chance. For parts of this season he was on the fourth line alongside Andrew Copp and the struggling Drew Stafford. His versatility, while not on display as much this season, is still welcomed as he is gifted at playing both centre and wing. His offensive production struggles are strictly tied to shooting percentage and not a drop off in his play. This is key because he has a much better change of bouncing back if his shooting percentage ever corrects itself.
As you can see, Perreault started off the season slow and struggling. At times during that weak point he was playing on the fourth line. He also admitted that he had been playing through a back injury, which explains a lot. Perreault of one of three players in the top six who was not affected by the loss of three two NHL defenders at the end of the season; the other two being Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. While it might be because of the defenders who were backing them as discussed on Bryan Little’s review, it might also be because Wheeler, Scheifele, and Perreault are all veterans who are more capable of dealing with a bad defence behind them than Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine. Aside from that, it was encouraging to see Perreault end the season on a high note.
Mathieu Perreault is a skilled veteran who helps the Jets win games even when he is not scoring. While injury prone, he is a valued member of the team because of his ability to drive play and create chances using his speed and skill. On a team with many young forwards, his positive attributes far outweigh his injury history. While he might not remain this effective for much longer, his cost plus his shot-driving ability makes him a player that the Jets would miss if he was lost to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.