The steal of the 2020 Western Hockey League draft and a kid who reminds veteran Winnipeg coaches of Jonathan Toews, has signed a USHL tender agreement for the 2021-22 season.
The Chicago Steel made the announcement on Thursday saying, “His hockey sense, competitiveness, maturity and applicable skill make him a prototypical Steel prospect.”
The 15-year-old former star with the Winnipeg AAA City Champion Bantam 1AAA Winnipeg Warriors and now a member of the Sioux Falls Power 16U team, was the first Manitoban selected in the 2020 WHL 14-year-old Draft.
Perron, who finished the COVID-19 Pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season with 46 goals and 104 points in 36 games, was taken in the second round (23rdoverall) by the Portland Winterhawks. He was the leading scorer in the aborted Bantam 1 AAA playoffs with 19 goals and 27 points in 10 games.
Sadly, while Winnipeg AAA was able to complete its City Playoffs, the Warriors did not get a chance to play for the Provincial Title. Hockey Canada shut down the game due to the pandemic on March 11.
There were probably two reasons why Perron, an extremely skilled player, didn’t go earlier than the second round: (1) Although his older brother is 6-foot-1, he was only 5-foot-7, 125 pounds and (2) he hasn’t decided if the Western Hockey League is the route he wants to take.
It has become apparent that at best, the WHL is a distant second choice and an NCAA Division 1 is in his future.
Now 5-foot-8, 138-pounds, Perron has tallied three goals and 11 points in nine games during the current 2020-2021 season for the Sioux Falls Power. A great skater and a tremendous goal scorer, he is considered one of the top prospects to come out of Manitoba. Interestingly, another young Manitoban, Dawson Pasternak, is also a Sioux Falls Power grad who now plays for the Steel.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Jayden and his family to the Chicago Steel,” said Steel General Manager Ryan Hardy in a written statement. “We’re thrilled to attract a player of his caliber and look forward to watching him grow in the years to come.”
Perron joins current Steel players Ryan Ufko, Jake Livanavage and Adam Fantilli as well as Steel Alum Robert Mastrosimone as the fifth player ion Steel history to sign a tender agreement.
“I’m excited to sign with the Chicago Steel,” said Perron, who turns 16 on Jan. 11. “I chose the Steel because of their unparalleled track record of developing players. I believe they have the best environment to help me reach my long-term potential.”
Toronto Maple Leafs’ scout and Steel assistant GM Noelle Needham, is pleased to have Perron in the fold.
“Jayden’s appreciation for development and his genuine love of the game are qualities we value very much within our organization,” said Steel Assistant General Manager Noelle Needham. “Because of this, we are confident that Jayden will be a tremendous addition to the Steel.”
The USHL tender process allows teams to sign up to two 2005 birth year players prior to the 2021 USHL Phase I Draft, which is scheduled to take place in May.
Perron’s signing will take the place of Chicago’s first-round pick in the 2021 USHL Phase I Draft. Should the Steel choose to tender a second player, that signing would take the place of a second-round selection in the USHL Phase I Draft. Tendered players are required to play in 55 percent of a Member Club’s games during the regular season, notwithstanding injury, illness or suspension.