I love me some Cole Perfetti. Like a heaping plate of mom’s spaghetti, you just can’t help thinking he’s ready to get shreddy. I’m sorry, I’m trying to make some kind of creative rhyme here and failing miserably. Unlike my own efforts, I’ve largely got nothing but positive takeaways from Perfetti’s burgeoning NHL career. Everything we expected from Cole seemed to manifest in some capacity during his brief Jets stint before he went down with an injury. The passing, vision, and elite playmaking ability were all on display.
The biggest surprise for many who don’t know Perfetti’s priors is his defensive contribution. Cole was constantly stripping puck-carriers and creating turnovers all over the ice. His intelligence at thieving the puck and creating breakouts was incredibly impressive. It’s one thing to do at at a minor league or junior level, but doing it against professional NHL players is gutsy. Perfetti has the exact game future coaches will adore, and I suspect his work-rate habits will win the hearts of fans as well.
While I very much enjoyed Perfetti’s start, there are some obvious areas for improvement that can only come with reps at the NHL level. For one thing, he occasionally needs to speed up his decision-making. With how Perfetti sees the game, that won’t take long for him to get accustomed to. You could already see increasing chemistry and execution speed as he acclimated to the Jets. The only other criticism I could really level was the lack of shooting. I felt like Perfetti just needed to let loose more frequently. He’s got a monster release and I’m sure he’ll bag more down the road. In the grand scheme of things, it’s more a minor niggle than an actual complaint. The initial showings from Winnipeg’s star talent sure look promising!