Cole Perfetti eager to make Winnipeg Jets, junior team after signing 1st NHL contract

The Winnipeg Jets signed 10th overall selection Cole Perfetti to his first NHL contract on Monday.

Perfetti agreed to a three-year entry-level contract where he’ll earn an average of $1.66 million per season in the NHL.

“It feels unbelievable to sign and get the business side done,” Perfetti said.

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The 18-year-old centre has gotten a bonus-laden deal with almost half his contract based on performance bonuses.

“A lot of the bonuses were pretty standard,” he said. “One that stuck out to me and my agents was the all-rookie team.

“So that was something I think is attainable, and is in my sights, and something I really want to accomplish.”

Read more: Winnipeg Jets sign 1st-round pick Cole Perfetti

Of course he’ll have to crack the Jets’ lineup first. In any other November he’d already be knee-deep into the hockey season, but in 2020, with the NHL and OHL campaigns still on hold, it’s the same old regiment in the meantime for the Saginaw Spirit forward.

“Since the draft, it’s kinda been the same as my summer routine. Just been working out every day, skating a lot,” said Perfetti.

“I’ve been doing a lot. Five days in the gym every week, skating three, four times a week, doing the spin class with a couple of my buddies to work on conditioning.”

Perfetti was second in OHL scoring last season with 111 points, including 37 goals in just 61 games. But with no games directly on the horizon, Perfetti is focused on making Canada’s World Junior team after recently getting a training camp invite.

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Last year he came up just short as one of the final cuts, but that has only fueled him to represent his country on the big stage.

“It was the worst minute of my life,” Perfetti stated. “There’s so many lessons you can learn in being cut from a team. That being my first time ever being cut it was definitely a wake up call.

“It’s definitely disappointing, but I learned a lot in how to use that as motivation and fuel me for the rest of the season. And up until this point, I’m still using that motivation from being cut last year and taking that into camp this year and hopefully make the team this time around.”

Read more: Winnipeg Jets take centre Cole Perfetti in 1st round of NHL Draft

But his goal is also to make the Jets this winter. Although it would seem like a long shot, considering in the Jets first nine drafts, only Patrik Laine has made the team in his first training camp.

“I think every kids’ dream and every players’ goal is to make the NHL as fast possible and that’s obviously my goal — to make it this year,” he said. “It’s definitely a far achievement and it’s going to be very hard to do, but I think it’s possible.

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“I’ll be happy with whatever the plan is. My goal will always be making the NHL as fast as possible. I’m going to do whatever it takes to step into the league right away.”

Click to play video: 'Cole Perfetti looks to take next step in hockey career' Cole Perfetti looks to take next step in hockey career
Cole Perfetti looks to take next step in hockey career – Oct 16, 2020

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