Cole Perfetti continued what has been a very impressive training camp and preseason to date, with a first star performance in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton.
Just as or maybe even more important, the 20-year-old forward is not taking any of his success for granted.
There are some young players, coming off a two-goal, eight-shot effort — albeit in an exhibition game — who might fall victim to experiencing a false sense of job security.
Thankfully for the Winnipeg Jets and their fans, Cole Perfetti doesn’t show any signs of fitting that character profile.
Perfetti’s mindset, right from the start of training camp, has been to keep getting better every day. Suffice to say, he is succeeding at moving the needle forward.
But while the Jets’ 2020 first round pick would seem to be a lock to retain his spot as a top-six forward who is looking right at home on a line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler, Perfetti says that in his mind, he still has to make the team.
Head coach Rick Bowness doesn’t mind that approach at all, saying it matches the message he delivered earlier in camp: that some players would be mistaken on their part to think they had a roster spot sewn up.
But Bowness also recognizes that Perfetti is a special talent and has encouraged the young forward not to overthink the process.
The veteran bench boss says he had a chat with Perfetti during Sunday’s practice, and reminded him not to worry too much about the details of the game without the puck — that’s something the coaching staff will be happy to teach.
Bowness says when Perfetti has the puck, “you do your thing” was the main piece of advice given.
Perfetti would be wise to continue erring on the side of caution, and to leave nothing to chance in his quest to play an even more prominent role for this hockey club in the coming season.