- Cole Perfetti
- Alex Lafreniere
- Marco Rossi
- Tim Stutzle
- Lucas Raymond
“The Year of the Playmaker”? When you have all five of the top-rated passers in the draft ranked in the top ten, it’s a pretty clear indication that playmakers won’t be scarce at the top of the draft.
In fact, the top-five forwards on many draft lists are also quite possibly the best playmakers in the draft, and leading the way is Cole Perfetti over consensus #1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere and fellow OHL phenom Marco Rossi. All three received first-place votes, but three scouts listed Perfetti as the top passer in a draft class that is teeming with offence creators.
“At the Hlinka I was wowed by his offensive hockey sense, skill and playmaking,” said one scout. “He is constantly creating offence.”
Scouts have been wowed by Perfetti’s playmaking abilities all season. In Saginaw’s last game in Ottawa, he seemed to have the puck on a string in the offensive zone at times, finding teammates with brilliant feeds on several occasions, and getting my nod as the best playmaker by a sliver over Lafreniere.
The burly QMJHL winger was favoured by one scout because of his unparalleled puck protection abilites.
“The space Lafreniere can get using his size gives him extra time,” said one scout. “That will especially be true as a pro. You have to give him the edge.”
For yet another scout it came down to Perfetti and Rossi, with the 67’s centerman earning high praise for his smarts and vision.
“Some games he seems to have the puck all game,” noted one scout. He’s the offensive catalyst on the best team in the OHL.”
Tim Stutzle made his way into several skill categories after his virtuoso performance at the WJC, with playmaking being one of them.”
“Such high-end raw skill,” noted one scout. “He makes skilled plays every time you see him. Sees the ice well, and handles the puck so skillfully that he has time to make the right plays.”
Connor Zary, Jamie Drysdale, Dawson Mercer and Seth Jarvis all got top-five votes for best playmaker, but Lucas Raymond was fourth or fifth on every scout’s list and got the edge over Zary for the final spot.
He’s good; he’s real good,” said one scout. “He’s so smart and skilled. What a playmaking center, wow. He’s a good two-way guy, I think he can play center. He’s too much of a playmaker to put on the wing I think. He already knows how to play center.”