In 1970, the Buffalo Sabres made Gilbert Perreault their top pick, and he became one of the best players in team history. Will another Perreault join?
It is mock draft season in the NHL, and that will only heat up as we get closer to draft day on June 28th. And so far, analysts have had a couple of interesting picks when it comes to mocking players to the Buffalo Sabres, with Zach Benson and Matthew Wood being the most notable. At least until the early hours of today, that is, when The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler mocked Gabe Perreault to the Blue and Gold.
“Ha!” I said. “Another Perreault to join the organization?”
I like the sound of that, and I’m sure many Sabres fans also wouldn’t mind seeing another Perreault taken so highly. And while blueliner Axel Sandin Pellikka is still available in this particular mock, something else jumped out at me that justified this pick, and it was more than just the familiar name. Check out the quote below, and you’ll see why.
"“They can’t pass on the playmaking and handedness of Perreault to complement right-shot scorers like Jack Quinn and some day replace Jeff Skinner at left wing in the top six. ” – Scott Wheeler, via The Athletic"
Will the Buffalo Sabres snag another Perreault in the first round?
It’s easy to forget that, despite the fact the Buffalo Sabres are a young hockey team, Jeff Skinner is one of their oldest skaters and probably only has about three or four decent seasons left at age 31. Therefore, he will need a replacement sometime down the line, and if someone like Perreault hops on board, he could be Skinner’s eventual successor.
Timing-wise, it also makes sense, as Perreault will need time in the lower leagues to bulk up and further develop his game. But that doesn’t mean Perreault wouldn’t be an exciting player to follow in the meantime should he wind up in the Sabres system.
This past season for the US National U18 Team, Perreault played on another level, snagging 132 points, 53 goals, and 79 assists in just 63 contests. And this also came during a year when he put up 45 points, 19 goals, and 26 assists in 23 games in the USHL, along with an additional 18 points, five goals, and 13 assists in international play.
Like most prospects, Perreault is a slim 165 lb at 5’11, but he is also one of many prospects that has some NHL bloodlines. And no, he’s not related to Gilbert, in case you were wondering-but he is the son of Yanic Perreault, who spent 14 seasons in the NHL, racking up 516 points in 859 games.
Source: NHL Mock Draft 2023: Pronman and Wheeler predict the first two rounds by Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler, TheAthletic.com