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2020 NHL Draft prospect Perfetti singlehandedly lifts Canada over Sweden

Ailish Forfar
NHL Editor
Cole Perfetti was perfect in Canada's semifinal game. (Getty)

If you haven’t been keeping tabs on the top prospects entering the 2020 NHL Entry Draft next summer, here’s one name you need to know: Cole Perfetti.

The 17-year-old Whitby, Ontario native is representing Canada overseas at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and put on an absolute clinic in their semifinal victory over Sweden.

Perfetti scored both of Canada’s goals throughout regulation to force overtime, and eventually a shootout.

His first goal came from a visionary breakaway pass that sent Perfetti alone on Jesper Wallstedt. He freezes the Swedish goalie and lifts the puck over the blocker to tie the game at 1-1.

Perfetti’s second goal started by jumping on a loose puck in the defensive zone, then he split the Swedish defence, and raced down the ice to rip a backhand past the goaltender once again, tying the game at 2-2.

The game extended to overtime and eventually a shootout, where the Saginaw Spirit star worked his magic once again.

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The shootout needed extra frames as well, allowing Canada to re-use players with a hot touch, naturally this was Perfett.

The standout performer was sent over the boards four times in the shootout, scoring on three of his opportunities, including the tying and sudden victory winner, securing a finals berth for his country.

You might remember similar heroics from Team Canada’s Jonathan Toews in the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championships, when he scored three times in the shootout to secure a victory over Team USA.

Even more recently, Team USA’s Troy Terry tallied three markers in a shootout at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship to advance to the finals against Canada.

Perfetti is in some legendary company after this feat on Friday, and the young forward is bumping his NHL Draft prospect rating higher and higher overseas at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

He’s currently leading the tournament in goals with 7, and is tied for first in points with 9 heading into Canada’s gold medal game against Russia on Saturday.

Perfetti is currently ranked fifth in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft after posting 37 goals and 74 points in his rookie campaign last season in the OHL.

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