Jayden Perron is a playmaking right winger who the Leafs may select at 28th overall

Photo credit:Chicago Steel
Michael Mazzei
1 year ago
One of the biggest shortcomings that have held the Leafs back over the past few years in the playoffs has been their lack of scoring outside of the core four players. While they do account for the bulk of Toronto’s salary cap, not using the space wisely to fill in the gap and provide as much offensive depth as possible has been a detriment to their success.
This is why finding players with offensive prowess on the cheap is going to be crucial over the next few years, with the draft being an ideal place to try and find someone who can join the Leafs within a year or two.
In today’s post as part of an ongoing series taking a deep dive into prospects that will be available to be picked later this month, we shift our focus to a playmaker on the smaller side that could be worth a flyer.

Scouting Profile

Jayden Perron is a member of the Chicago Steel of the USHL with a Canadian background and is categorized as a playmaking right winger. He comes in on the smaller side, especially for a forward, with a height of 5’8″ and weighing just 159 pounds leading up to the start of the draft.
Perron is a player who excels at handling the puck, making crisp passes to set up his teammates, and can adjust on the fly to whatever the opposition throws his way. It’s a credit to his high intelligence of the game and that makes him someone that any team would want him to be the line driver wherever he slots on the pecking order. He is patient in his approach to generating plays which are attributed to him protecting the puck and waiting for the right opportunity to pass or shoot. While his defensive game isn’t his greatest attribute, he does a good job of tracking plays, backing-checking with authority, and making good reads of what is happening around him.
The most obvious knock against Perron is his height and the lack of true top-end speed. He may be a guy that plays with pace and can get around defenders, but his lack of size leaves him vulnerable to being easily pushed out of the perimeter. Getting more size and improving his skating mechanics to better withstand opposing defenders at the professional level is going to be critical in his development. Otherwise, scouts who are more skeptical of how Perron’s skillset will translate to the next level will have their concerns realized.
It is worth pointing out that Perron has already committed to playing at the University of North Dakota for next year, which will allow him a chance to develop those two aformented weaknesses in his game. Because as it stands, he is a dynamic playmaker who could be a solid bet to become an impactful top-six forward and power-play specialist. I would imagine that Perron has also been keeping a close eye on Mitch Marner and trying to emulate his evolution into a 200-foot player.

What the scouts are saying

Ranked #25 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #38 by DAILY FACEOFF
Ranked #50 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #34 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #86 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #43 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #15 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Corey Pronman, The Atheltic: “Perron has a lot of offensive talent. His game starts with his skating. He’s got a quick, powerful skating stride that will create controlled entries and push the pace at higher levels. Perron can make skilled plays on the move through defenders and to teammates. He’s a strong passer while also being able to finish chances with a shot that can pick corners from range. Perron has skill, but the question is as a 5-foot-9 forward, is it dynamic enough for the NHL? Also, while I don’t think he lacks effort, as a smaller player he can be pushed off to the perimeter too easily. He has a good chance to play games but it’s unclear if he will be a top-nine scorer in the NHL.”
Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects: “Dynamic playmaking winger with good speed and overall mobility. Needs to add size and strength but profiles as a top-six offensive driver in the NHL if he reaches his potential.”
Steven Ellis, Daily Faceoff: “Perron is one of the best passers in the draft, and his hot second half definitely helped his first-round case. Many scouts were hoping to see him end the regular season on a high note, and he’s been one of Chicago’s best players. But will scouts overlook his 5-foot-8 frame? I’m not sure he’s a good enough skater or defensive player to play outside the top six.”
Steel coach Mike Garman spoke with Jordan McAlpine of FloHockey about how he assesses’ Perron’s play:
“Jayden’s just a special hockey player. The way he sees the game is unique and the way he can move and manipulate defenders and checks, he’s got very good escape ability. He’s just an incredibly intelligent player that has a very unique skating ability and a very high skill set.”


Perron is most likely going to be taken either late in the first round or early in the second round, which falls right around where the Leafs are going to make their first pick. While there is certainly a boom-or-bust element to his development, it wouldn’t be the most outlandish idea for Toronto to take a chance on the UND commit.
He is blessed with a high hockey IQ and is one of the best passers in this draft class, with his 72 points (24 goals, 48 assists) finishing fourth on the Steel and sixth in the USHL in scoring. His patience with the puck, solid passing, and good defensive abilities are a good starting point for his development. The shortcomings are obvious as he is small and does not have dynamic speed, which will need to be improved while he is at college.
Being one of the most important forwards on a USHL team in just his second season is no easy feat, and that makes him an intriguing target for teams at the upcoming draft. Perhaps he is someone the Leafs should heavily consider if he’s up for grabs at 28th overall.
Stats from Elite Prospects.

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