Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year Award presented by CIBC.
Perfetti combined success on the ice with success in school by setting a Spirit single season scoring record of 111 points including 37 goals and 74 assists over 61 games while achieving an overall academic average of 93%.
“CIBC proudly congratulates Saginaw Spirit forward Cole Perfetti on receiving the CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award. Cole’s demonstrated excellence both on the ice in hockey and off the ice in academics has set a positive example for his fellow teammates and those in the community, and we look forward to seeing him continue to flourish back on the ice in the near future.”
The 18-year-old born January 1, 2002, is the fifth ranked North American skater for the 2020 NHL Draft after finishing second in Ontario Hockey League scoring. The sophomore forward chosen fifth overall by the Spirit in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection was highly regarded by OHL Western Conference coaches in the league’s annual poll where he received top marks in the Smartest Player, Best Playmaker, Best Stickhandler, and Best Shootout Shooter categories. In the classroom between Heritage High School in Saginaw and All Saints Catholic Secondary School in his hometown of Whitby, Ontario, Perfetti was enrolled in an impressive seven University level courses including Algebra, Analyzing Current Economic Issues, Elite Athletics, Healthy & Active Living, Leadership, Organizational Studies in Behaviour and Human Resources, and World Religions.
“Thank you for choosing me to be the CHL Scholastic Player of the Year award winner,” Perfetti said. “It’s a big honour for me and something that I worked for all season. To be able to be a part of this trophy, and a group of all the prior recipients, it means a lot to me. There are a lot of great players to have won in the past and even better people. I want to say thank you to my family and my billets. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. They give me the support and the love that I need to excel both on and off the ice and in the classroom and without them I wouldn’t be in the spot that I am now. I also want to say thank you to the Spirit organization and to Pam Moretuzzo especially. Everyone in the organization is trying to make each player a better student, a better hockey player, but most importantly a better person. Pam is our high school advisor and day in, day out, she’s always taking care of me and making sure that each player is set up for greatness. I can’t thank her enough and I can’t thank the Spirit organization enough for providing me with all the resources and help I need to thrive both on and off the ice.”
Perfetti is the first member of the Spirit to win the award since it was introduced at the national level in 1988. A number of top prospects have been recognized with this award ahead of their NHL Draft selection including back-to-back recipient Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters who won in 2014 and then again in 2015 before being chosen first overall by the Edmonton Oilers. Other first round picks to win include Josh Morrissey of the Prince Albert Raiders (2013), Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs (2011), Gilbert Brule of the Vancouver Giants (2005), Devan Dubnyk of the Kamloops Blazers (2004), Dustin Brown of the Guelph Storm (2003), Brad Boyes of the Otters (2000), Stefan Cherneski of the Brandon Wheat Kings (1997), Boyd Devereaux of the Kitchener Rangers (1996), Scott Niedermayer of the Blazers (1991), and Darrin Shannon of the Windsor Spitfires (1988).
Finalists for the award were fellow 2020 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Garand of the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers and Montreal Canadiens prospect Rafael Harvey-Pinard of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Chicoutimi Sagueneens.