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2023 NHL Draft #29: Jayden Perron Scouting Report

Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day our LWOS Prospects Writers will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2023 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow Ben Kerr, Kyle Pereira and Frederik Frandson on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! Today we bring you our Jayden Perron Scouting Report.

Jayden Perron Scouting Report

Jayden Perron, born January 11th, 2005, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a forward playing in the USHL. The forward stands at 5’8” and 157 pounds, and is currently committed to play for the University of North Dakota next season. This year with the Chicago Steel, Perron scored 24 goals and 48 assists for 72 points in 61 games played. The season before that, he recorded 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points in 60 games with the Steel.

With his production this season, Perron looks like a late-first or early-second round draft selection. He has been ranked 11th by Dobber Prospects, 15th by Smaht Scouting, 17th by FCHockey, 19th by Elite Prospects, 31st by Recruit Scouting, 32nd by Draft Prospects Hockey, 34th by McKeen’s Hockey, 38th by Daily Faceoff, 50th by Bob McKenzie, and 86th by Craig Button.       

Jayden Perron Deep Dive

Right Wing — shoots Right
Born January 11th, 2005 — Winnipeg, Manitoba
Height 5’9″ — Weight 163 lbs [175 cm/74 kg]

While sites generally have Perron in the late or mid-first round, it’s important to note two rankings: Bob McKenzie and Craig Button. Button and McKenzie, especially McKenzie, rank based on what they’re hearing from pro scouts and their sources. Perron being as small as he is, there isn’t much of a surprise that teams are lower than the general consensus. But, that could be a reason GM’s kick themselves later; Perron has some upside that many believe in.   

Perron’s Skating 

Perhaps the biggest red flag that comes with drafting Perron is the combination of his size with his skating. Perron is only above-average at best in this area, and being as small as he is, raises a ton of questions. Generally speaking, players who are undersized are too fast and agile to be caught with hits often. However, Perron does not possess that ability to skate himself out of trouble. What he does have, however, is strong edges. He can change directions at the snap of a finger, and can stop on a dime. It’s his straight-line speed that needs some work. 

It starts with his stride mechanics. Perron possesses long strides, which is good, but does not get low enough to generate power. He skates as if he’s leaning forward, and isn’t maximizing each step as he pushes off his back foot. That prevents him from being faster than a majority of players. However, Brayden Point had a similar deficiency with size and skating in his draft-year; look how he turned out? Perron has the basics of his stride down, it’s just a matter of tweaking his mechanics as he goes through the NCAA with NHL-level skating coaches. 

Offensive Abilities

When it comes to Perron’s offensive game, he can be fun to watch. With the puck on his stick, he can perform a plethora of different moves to avoid defenders’ sticks and navigate through traffic. Perron has ultimately perfected the toe drag, able to time them incredibly well to get through tight spots and pressure. However, his small frame allows players with a longer reach to disrupt those moments at times. He’ll have to improve his skating to avoid that becoming a consistent problem at a higher level. 

As for his shot, Perron can let off some lasers. However, the power behind his shots are inconsistent. It will not be enough to beat an NHL-level goaltender. However, if he can work on that, which he should be able to, his accuracy is largely solid. As for his playmaking, this is his bread-and-butter. His hockey IQ jumps off the page. He mostly plays with a fast-pace, but also understands when he can’t make a certain pass. He will defer to a simpler pass to extend possession. Away from the puck, his IQ is even more apparent. Despite his smaller stature, he has no fear getting to the dirty areas and finding open seams in high-danger areas. He is a threat both with and without the puck. 

Jayden Perron’s Transitional Abilities

Perron is active in the offensive zone both with and without the puck. That stands true in the neutral zone. It’s hard finding moments where he will cheat too far up ice, as he mostly keeps tight to his teammate with the puck as an easy option. Due to the fact he constantly positions himself in good and easy passing lanes, he tends to be the one relied on most for Chicago’s transition into the offensive zone. With the puck, he again plays smart, but with a high pace. His edgework and agility, paired with his IQ and stickhandling, allows him to navigate through the neutral zone consistently. When he feels the space isn’t there, he doesn’t force it; he has no issues with dumping the puck in and forechecking hard. 

As for exiting the defensive zone, he normally isn’t involved. Perron is either the second pass (in the neutral zone) or is the third forward up ice, making him the trailer. That’s obviously not a bad thing; he is effective getting into the offensive zone, which is the main goal of a break-out. 

Perron’s Defensive Zone Play

Perron is a solid defensive forward. That also plays a part into him not playing a very involved role when exiting the defensive zone. When defending, he tries his best defending down low, helping his teammates. However, his size limits how well he can truly defend the cycle and along the boards. However, it is his IQ that allows him to read the play and break up scoring chances. 

Another part of his strong defensive game is his endless motor. He forechecks relentlessly and can force turnovers before a team even enters the offensive zone. His backchecking isn’t as effective, but he can still be a pain for the puck carrier to deal with when attempting an entry. That relentless motor will go a long way for him, especially if he is able to bulk up during his college years. 

Jayden Perron’s Potential

Perron’s IQ and vision is hard to teach. His stickhandling is already at a pretty high level. Add his playmaking and future potential with his shot (if he can work on his power) and the team that drafts him will get an electrifying player. That doesn’t even mention his meticulous and smart way of doing things, both in transition and on defence. Plus, his motor and seemingly evident coachability, and any team should be happy to have him. 

However, concerns about size and skating at this juncture brings about reasonable concerns about projection. In this case, if he can work on those skating issues and bulk up a considerable amount on a light NCAA schedule, he has the makings of a future top-line forward. However, those aren’t the easiest things to overcome, and oftentimes requires patience from the team that drafts him. Some teams lack in that department. But if he hits, he will be a big hit. 

NHL Comparison 

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Relentless motor. Tantalizing offensive skill set. Fantastic vision and IQ. Solid defensive game and overall complete skills. One player that comes to mind, from a stylistic perspective, not in an attempt to project future value, is Connor Garland. Garland is undersized, but doesn’t let that prevent him from playing hard. While Perron isn’t as hard-nosed and physical as Garland, he plays a very similar style. Relentless, high work ethic, and being overall very effective. 

If Perron can work on his skating and bulk up, he will likely play a very similar style at the NHL as Garland, though maybe not as physical, in a top-six role. 



Raw stats via Elite Prospects

Main Photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports


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