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‘A dream come true’: Jacob Perreault relishes the opportunity to play in the Canadiens organization

Photo by LAURENT CORBEIL / Arena du Rocket Inc.

It’s often an overused phrase that someone was born to play for a certain team, but in Jacob Perreault’s case, it has some merit. Jacob was born in 2002 in the middle of Montreal Canadiens playoff run while his dad was preparing to play the Boston Bruins. Three days after he was born, Yanic had three assists in a Canadiens win. Montreal ended up winning the series.

“I grew up here, Montreal was one of my favourite teams when I was growing up, so it’s a dream come true to be traded here,” Perreault said.

On Thursday, Perreault was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Jan Myšák. On Saturday, he played his first game for the Laval Rocket.

“[The last 48 hours have been] pretty crazy,” Perreault said on Saturday. “When the trade happened, Montreal took such good care of me, I’m really happy to be here and it’s a first-class organization.”

After the initial shock of his first professional trade wore off, the first call he made was to his father.

“I told him I was traded to the Canadiens and I’m going home and he was really happy,” Jacob said.

Yanic played three full seasons with the Canadiens, among his 859 career NHL games, and now works with the Chicago Blackhawks as a development coach. Jacob says that even though he works for another NHL team, he is in communication with his dad whenever he needs feedback and that he wouldn’t be where he is today without both his parents.

Jacob isn’t the only Perreault sibling in professional hockey. His brother Gabriel was drafted in the first round by the New York Rangers in 2023 and his sister Liliane went to training camp in the PWHL before signing with Frölunda in the SDHL.

Perreault played his first game with the Rocket on a line with Mitchell Stephens and Jared Davidson. He had not yet practiced with the team, and comes to the Rocket with less of a spotlight. It no longer matters where he was drafted, now he’s just a player trying to get to the next step.

His biggest asset is his shot, and he was a big scorer in the Ontario Hockey League, but he has worked on rounding out his game and adding strength to his body since becoming a professional. He will get an opportunity to score in Laval. Head coach Jean-François Houle likes the fact he is a right-handed shot and expects to use him on the power play to balance things out.

“I see him more as a power play player than a penalty killer,” Houle said. “We’ll probably use him there at a certain point.”

The Rocket only have three forwards who shoot right on the roster: Perreault, Stephens, and Nathan Légaré.

“[My goal is] making the playoffs,” Perreault said. “Help the team win, make some friends and work as hard as I can.”

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