1
Photo Credit: © Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pilot’s Logbook 17-18 – Mathieu Perreault

This time last year, my first article with Jetsnation.ca was to compare the Winnipeg Jets to the then reigning Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins.  In doing so, I  found myself in a conundrum, in trying to figure out which way the Winnipeg Jets should go in regards to Adam Lowry and Mathieu Perreault.   Let it be known, that I am and probably will be one of Lowry’s biggest fans,  but I found myself sliding into the Pro Perreault camp.

MATHIEU PERREAULT
#85 – CENTER
5’10″ / 188 lbs / Age: 30

Current Contract Status: Signed through 2021-21 season ($4,125,000/yr)

THE NUMBERS

REGULAR SEASON MATHIEU PERREAULT STATS
Scor Scor Scor Shot Ice
Season GP G A PTS +/- PIM S% ATOI FOW FOL FO% HIT BLK TK GV
2017-18 70 17 22 39 4 38 12.2 14:28 33 26 55.9 120 25 42 25
Career 496 108 171 279 19 248 13.0 14:18 1510 1480 50.5 545 163 244 150

 

ADVANCED MATHIEU PERREAULT STATS
Cors Cors Cors Cors Fenw Fenw Fenw Fenw Zone Zone
Season GP CF CA CF% CF% rel FF FA FF% FF% rel oZS% dZS%
2017-18 70 969 742 56.6 6.2 697 569 55.1 3.6 53.1 46.9
Career 496 6201 5052 55.1 5.1 4556 3795 54.6 4.5 53.3 46.7

PLAYER’S SEASON IN REVIEW

The knock on Perreault has always been that while yes he’s a fine player, he’s injured a lot.

Advertisement

Mathieu is more of a physical player than people realize mostly due to his smaller frame at under six feet, but he actually finished fourth amount Jets forwards in the hits category (which yes is a bit of a subjective stat, but still a stat none the less…) with 120. He’s not afraid to stick his nose into the corners or around the front of the net and is one of the team’s best when it comes to talking about forwards who can forecheck.

It’s that ability to grind combined with his skill and play making ability as a forward that makes him so invaluable to the team. He can play on a top six forward role and not look out of place with the more offensively gifted players like a Patrik Laine or a Kyle Connor, or he can be just as effective playing on a fourth line with Joel Armia and Matt Hendricks and probably be even more valuable in that role as his play helps bring up the play of both Armia and Hendricks. His ability to drive play gave the Jets a really good fourth line option as he did in the middle of the season when played a handful of games with them.

Otherwise he was mostly grouped up with Bryan Little and either Nik Ehlers or Jack Roslovic when Roslovic was up with the club.

4th Line Perreault: Still Underappreciated

As for the knock on him about injuries, it’s true, he hasn’t played a full 82 game NHL season in his entire career, in fact his highest game play total came two seasons ago in the 2015-16 season when he dressed for 71 games. He was one short of that this season playing in just 70.

The funny thing about that is for as much flack as Perreault gets for “always being injured” it’s not like he’s the only one who deals with injuries.

Advertisement

Over the last three seasons, Perreault has dressed in 206 games.

Mark Scheifele’s three season total? 210. Up until this season when he finally got in a full 82 NHL games, Paul Stastny went four straight seasons where he couldn’t crack the 75 game played mark.

Injuries happen and Perreault’s play style lends itself to more risk of being injured, but he still gets in a fair share of games. Perhaps his injury issues are more talked about than others because when he’s not on the ice, his missed presence is very noticeable. In a strange way, that’s a positive.

THE PLAYOFFS

MATHIEU PERREAULT PLAYOFF STATS
Scor Scor Scor Ice
Season GP G A PTS +/- PIM S S% TSA ATOI FOW FOL FO% HIT BLK TK GV
2017-18 9 1 0 1 1 4 11 9.1 21 12:59 2 4 33.3 11 4 6 5
Career 34 4 8 12 -3 22 45 8.9 83 13:05 124 142 46.6 67 12 13 13

Perreault played in only nine of the team’s 17 playoff games due to an upper body injury but it should be noted that a few of those games he was held out for precautionary reasons. When he did play, he averaged about a minute and a half less of ice time per game as he was kept to third line duty in a checking role. These factors, as well as playing tough checking teams like Nashville and Vegas – limited his offensive output to one goal.

Advertisement

FUTURE OUTLOOK

Perreault has 2 years left on his current deal. The Jets are also in a bit of a Salary Cap crunch as they try to fit all the pending RFA deals under it. It’s something they could totally do and not even have to worry about it going forward, but then you factor in the current Paul Stastny question. The Jets want to retain Stastny but with their current roster status, it just wouldn’t happen and someone would have to be moved off the team. With a 4.125 million dollar deal, Perreault could be one of those players. He’s still valuable enough that he would fetch a pretty good return on that trade market, and the savings could make a Stastny deal happen.

This of course is nothing new for Perreault. He’s always been a prime target to be traded or sent away or left exposed in an expansion draft. Every year it seems like his status with the Jets is open to question.

Advertisement

If he’s with the Jets next season he’ll as always prove to be a valuable “plug and play” player no matter where he is in the lineup.

FINAL GRADE:  B-

  • He gets paired with top line players and a lot of PP minutes but doesn’t elevate his line mates in points and often misses more scoring chances than he cashes in on. He has been surpassed by Roslovic but continues to be one of Maurice’s pets that gets more ice time at the expense of younger more talented players. Great trade bait as he should get the Jets a good prospect.