#2 Gabe Perrault, LW, USNTDP
Projected Pick 12 to 17
Gabe Perrault has remained on all three of my Predators draft boards. I absolutely love his all-around game and his potential to thrive in the right system. Although he has some improvement to make on his skating and defensive skills, these are things that don’t worry me too much.
Perrault, son of former NHL player Yanic Perrault, stockpiled the points for the Team USA National Development team.
This isn’t a typo; Perrault put up 132 points in 63 games for the national development team in 2022-23, and also added another 45 points at the juniors in the USHL. Just insane production, and he does most of his crafty work by dissecting the opposition and making his linemates around him better.
Look at how he baits the defense in this highlight that find his teammate for a goal:
Perrault’s NHL ceiling for me is to eventually become a consistent top-six player. It will take time to round out his game, which is why scouts are all over the place with where he might be drafted. I’ve seen him as high as No.12 to all the way outside the top-20.
If Perrault is available at the 15th pick for the Predators, then there’s only one other player that I’d take over him that might be realistically available at 15.
And for clarification, I’m still leaving Zach Benson off my board. Of course if some whack scenario happens where Benson falls, then we throw a parade on Broadway that the Predators get the unequivocal steal of the draft.