In the sixth-round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, with the 177th overall selection, the Capitals drafted Drummondville, Quebec native Mathieu Perreault. Perreault would spend eight seasons in the Capitals organization, including two Calder Cup championships with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Hershey Bears. In 159 games in a Capitals sweater, Perreault posted 70 points (33 goals, 37 assists.
Perreault became a fan favorite due to his hard work ethic and on-ice hustle. Perreault is on the smaller side at 5’10”, but his tenacious approach to the game helped make him a fixture in the Capitals lineup. Perreault made his NHL debut during the 2009-10 season, scoring nine points in 21 games. The next season, Perreault saw more playing time, appearing in 35 games while posting 14 points (seven goals, seven assists). Perreault was one of the Capitals young players and primarily played fourth-line center.
In his third season in the NHL, Perreault showed some strong offensive potential, scoring 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists) in 64 games. That would’ve put him on pace for a 20-goal, 38-point season in 82 games. Many believed Perreault could slot in as the Capitals second-line center, given his speed and offensive capabilities. One of Perreault’s most memorable moments with the Capitals was when he scored his first career hat trick against the Boston Bruins.
However, Perreault’s production took a hit the following year, as he only recorded 17 points in 39 games in a lockout-shortened year. In a full season, he would’ve been on pace for 35 points.
This would prove to be Perreault’s last in a Capitals sweater, as he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward John Mitchell and a fourth-round draft pick that would later be traded back to the Ducks. In 69 games with the Ducks, playing for his former coach Bruce Boudreau, Perreault recorded 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists).
After the season, Perreault signed a three-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets, where he then proceeded to have another productive year, scoring 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists) in an injury-shortened 62 game season.
Mathieu Perreault and the Winnipeg Jets come to town on November 25th.
By Michael Fleetwood