Perfetti piling up points

Randy Russon
March 13, 2019

As Saginaw Spirit is playing at a torrid pace, rookie left winger Cole Perfetti is piling up the points for the streaking Ontario Hockey League team.

With three games to play in the 2018-2019 regular season, Saginaw is in second place in the Western Conference with 95 points from a record of 45-15-5.

Not only is the Spirit 9-0-1 in its last 10 outings but Saginaw has an amazing record of 34-6-3 since Chris Lazary replaced Troy Smith as head coach.

As for Perfetti, the fifth overall pick at the 2018 OHL priority selections draft is taking advantage of the ice time — and power play duty — that goes with playing on Saginaw’s top line alongside fourth-year OHL forwards Owen Tippett and Ryan McLeod.

Perfetti is tied with Tippett — who played for Team Canada at the 2019 World Jr. Hockey Championships and is a first-round, National Hockey League draft pick of the Florida Panthers — for the Saginaw scoring lead. Both players have 73 points, though Tippett has played in 51 games compared to the 60 that Perfetti has skated in.

Still, it has been a sensational season to date for the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Perfetti, who has 36 goals, 37 assists to lead all OHL rookies in scoring.

Perfetti, who was born on January 1, 2002 and who grew up an Oshawa Generals fan, represents a gamble that shrewd Saginaw general manager Dave Drinkill took at the 2018 OHL draft.

Even though Perfetti had a verbal commitment to play at the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association level, Drinkill nonetheless took the skilled skater with the fifth pick of the first round.

And it wasn’t that long after that Perfetti visited Saginaw and signed with the Spirit.

What a season it has been so far for Saginaw. What a season it has been so far for Perfetti.

PHOTO: Saginaw Spirit high-scoring rookie Cole Perfetti. (Photo by Natalie Shaver.)

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