2023 Draft Profile: Gabe Perreault

Photo: Rena Laverty

As we get closer to the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, we continue our evaluation of players that the Washington Capitals could potentially select with the eighth overall pick. Today, we will take a look at forward Gabe Perreault.


David Reinbacher
Matvei Michkov
Colby Barlow
Oliver Moore
Dalibor Dvorsky
Andrew Cristall

GABE PERREAULT – (18) – 5’11” – 165LBS, RW, USNTDP (USHL)

Perreault was the best player on both the US National U18 Team in the NTDP, and the US National Team Development Program of the USHL.

He had a record-setting season with the NTDP with 132 points (53 goals, 79 assists) in only 63 games, which broke Auston Matthews single season record of 117 points (55 goals, 62 assists) in the 2014-15 campaign. In the USHL, he led the team with 45 points (19 goals, 26 assists) in only 23 games.

Along with a record setting campaign, the Sherbrooke, Quebec native shined in the World Junior tournament, racking up 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in only seven games. He was on a dynamic line with Will Smith and Ryan Leonard during the tournament. All three players are going to Boston College for the upcoming season.

We talked about Andrew Cristall in our last draft profile. Perreault is a pass first player similar to Cristall. Along with his slick hands, he has a very high hockey IQ and always has his head on a swivel. He has a pretty powerful shot, especially his one timer, and that can help any team’s power play unit.

Perreault’s skating is by far his biggest weakness. He is not like Cristall where he only struggles with his straightaway speed, Perreault does not have the acceleration both north south and east west. His mechanics are not the most fluid. Furthermore, he is not the most responsible with the puck in his own zone.

While the record setting numbers for the young winger are eye-catching, it will be a stretch for Washington to select Perreault with the eighth pick. However, crazier things have happened and you never know what Brian MacLellan has up his sleeve. 



The Hockey Writers

Gabe Perreault is a highly-skilled, offensive-minded winger who has a variety of tricks in his arsenal that makes him a threat on the power play. His offensive abilities bleed into both playmaking and shooting, but I think he’s more of a pass-first player. He is good at reading plays and making quick, smart decisions in the offensive zone, and has great vision.

Scott Wheeler: The Athletic

I’ve stuck my neck out on Perreault since the start of this season and I’m prepared to hold firm with my evaluation through to the end of this draft year, too. Eventually, when the points pile up like they did, and they happen making the kinds of plays that he did, you can’t ignore them. Say what you will, he’s now the NTDP’s single-season points record holder. He didn’t even pass Auston Matthews and Jack Hughes by a narrow margin when it was all said and done, either. There are many who’ve settled on Perreault as more of a mid-to-late first-rounder because of the combination of his skinny frame (though he has looked stronger all three times I bumped into him over the course of this season at the rink), the linemates he plays with, and perceived questions about his skating. He’s likely going to be the fourth player from the national program picked because his game is believed to be less projectable.

He’s a clever-beyond-belief, maneuverable facilitator and playmaker who plays the game with a light touch and a heady spatial awareness of not only where his teammates are, but where he is in the flow of play (and relative to defenders). The son of longtime NHLer Yanic Perreault and brother of Ducks prospect Jacob, Gabe doesn’t have his dad’s defensive acumen or his brother’s build (he’s listed at 165 pounds now), but he’s an intuitive, highly intelligent player who sees the play develop offensively at a more advanced level than his two family members did/do — and than almost anybody in the draft does. He’s got some of the quickest hands in the draft.


The Athletic: 7
Elite Prospects: 18
Bob McKenzie: 23
FCHockey: 14
Craig Button: 15

By Jacob Cheris

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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5 Responses to 2023 Draft Profile: Gabe Perreault

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Some widely varying assessments of Perreault. If the Caps choose him, will they give him #85 so the old Mathieu Perreault jerseys become relevant again?

  2. hockeydruid says:

    Is he another Oshie or another Mathieu? If he can develop into an Oshie then yes but if just another 4th liner no. Also is he going to college and if so how much time will he spend there?

    • Diane Doyle says:

      Good question whether he’s an Oshie or a Matty P. Then again, Matty P. wasn’t a stereotypical 4th liner either. He played plenty on the 2nd line. But later did the 4th line. (Funny thing on mentioning Oshie and Matty P. When I first met Oshie, his personality reminded me of Matty P’s personality, to some degree.)

  3. Prevent Defense says:

    Good Morning NovaCapsFans!

    A scintillating Game Five coming up tonight, Bears versus Firebirds. At least we hope! “Theahl daht cahm” website has an article highlighting Bylsma vs. Nelson as rival coaches. NHL Network is carrying all remaining Calder Cup Finals games. The Caps’ website and twitter feature a John Walton interview of newcoach Spencer Carbery. Coach Carbs is very well spoken. Definitely an intelligent student of the game. Wish him well. Let’s Go Bears

  4. Prevent Defense says:

    Here we go again, Caps fans:

    Team speed is out, team skill is out, puck possession is out, red-hot goaltender, that’s out too. What’s in is “Heavy and big.” That’s the NHL’s Big Thing – for now. NHL daht cahm article [16 Jun] about Timo Meier signing forever with NJD. Devil’s GM Fitzgerald informs us this way: “We have our identity and I’m not going to sway from that because a bigger, heavy team won [the Stanley Cup Championship].” VGK was also “the deepest team in the playoffs.” VGK was not excessively “Top Heavy.”

    Got all that, GM Mac? Newcoach Carbery? The key to future success is Heavy and Big. Everything else is meaningless!

    Hope Ethen Frank has some more goals up his sleeve tonight

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