Cole Perfetti looks to take next step in hockey career

WATCH: It's been a longer off-season than Cole Perfetti is used to but it's also one he'll never forget after being drafted by the Winnipeg Jets.

It’s been a longer off-season than Cole Perfetti is used to but it’s also one he’ll never forget.

The 18-year-old Whitby native was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets a little over a week ago.

“It’s a dream come true. I’ve worked my entire life to being drafted and for it to finally happen and to be a part of the Winnipeg Jets, it’s pretty surreal,” said Perfetti, who was chosen 10th overall in the NHL draft.

His parents Angelo and Sandra couldn’t be more proud.

“It’s great to just watch him work so hard for such a long time and see him be so successful and achieve something that he was working so hard for,” said Angelo Perfetti, Cole’s dad.

“I’m not quite sure if it’s sunk in for me yet,” said Sandra Perfetti, Cole’s mom.

Heading into the draft, Perfetti was expected to go earlier in the first round.

He fell a few spots but that isn’t fazing him.

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“Ten years ago, if I was told I was going 10th overall, I definitely would have signed up for that — no ands or buts. I’m definitely happy with the situation I’m in. I can’t be more thrilled to be a part of the Jets and the opportunity that I’m going to get there,” said Perfetti.

Anthony Cornacchia, the director of hockey operations and head instructor at Edge Hockey Academy, has been working with Perfetti since he was five years old.

He says he knew Perfetti had what it took to make the big show.

“He’s got the ability to slow the game down, he’s got the ability to speed the game up,” Cornacchia said. “His IQ speaks for itself and that’s what separates him from a lot of athletes in the game today, and just his passion and love for the game.”

Perfetti isn’t just hockey smart — the centreman’s efforts also stood out in school. He was the OHL and CHL‘s scholastic player of the year for 2019-20, his second season with the Saginaw Spirit.

He can also solve a Rubik’s cube in one minute.

“I always want to be successful in everything I do. I think it’s very important for me to work hard not only on the ice getting better at hockey, but furthering my knowledge in the classroom and excelling there,” said Perfetti.

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Perfetti wears the number 91. He picked it after his childhood idol and former Oshawa General John Tavares.

“First time I got to pick my number I immediately chose 91, and just wanted to be like him. I fell in love with the number and stuck with that,” said Perfetti.

And he should be able to keep that number in Winnipeg.

Perfetti has a number of goals heading into next season. He not only wants to crack the Jets lineup but also wants to represent Canada at the world juniors

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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