Rangers top prospect confirms he’s returning to college this Fall

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four
Nick Wosika-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Though Gabe Perreault is wearing New York Rangers colors this week at prospects development camp, it’ll be a while yet before he officially dons the Blueshirt.

Perreault confirmed that he will play this upcoming season at Boston College. Though not unexpected news, his decision hadn’t been made public until he spoke with reporters Tuesday.

The 19-year-old forward did add that he’ll discuss the next steps about his hockey future with family and the Rangers once his sophomore season at BC concludes next spring. It’d appear likely that Perreault could very well sign his entry-level contract and turn pro at that time.

“Just focused on having another big year at school … hopefully win the national championship and then when that times I’ll probably discuss it with my family, my agent, obviously the Rangers see where they think I’m at, see where I think I’m at and make a decision from there,” Perreault said.

Perrault had an outstanding freshman year after being selected by the Rangers with the No. 23 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft. He was third in the nation averaging 1.67 points per game, a notch below Boston University center Macklin Celebrini (1.68), who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 draft last weekend.

In 36 games last season, Perreault had 60 points, third most on the talented BC squad and tied for fourth in all of NCAA men’s hockey. His 41 assists were second-most in the nation behind Boston College teammate Will Smith (46), who was a first-round pick by the Sharks in 2023.

Perreault also helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2024 World Junior Championship in Sweden. He had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in seven games. The slick forward was invited to the 2024 Summer Showcase by the United States and could wear a letter on his sweater at the 2025 WJC.

“He had a heckuva season, was impressive to watch, fun to watch,” Rangers director of player development Jed Ortmeyer said Tuesday. “I think he’s a player we’re excited about.”

Related: Brennan Othmann, Gabe Perreault, EJ Emery in town for Rangers development camp

Gabe Perreault teams with key Rangers prospect at development camp

Perreault took to the ice with 28 other Rangers prospects Tuesday for the first day of on-ice workouts at development camp. He skated in drills with 2021 first-round pick Brennan Othmann, who scored 21 goals for the Hartford Wolf Pack in his rookie pro season in 2023-24.

“He’s obviously a good player, a special talent,” Othmann said about Perreault. “I think him and I are good buddies … and hopefully we can play together. … I think with his kind of playmaking ability and with my shot and find open space, we make a good duo.”

Othmann is more of a left wing, who did play on the right side the second half of last season in the American Hockey League. Perreault is a natural right wing.

That happens to be a spot the Rangers are trying to fill in their top six. In fact, the Blueshirts have been trying for years to find a right-wing complement for Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. The latest option is Reilly Smith, whom the Rangers acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.

The 33-year-old forward, who helped the Vegas Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup in 2023, has just one more year remaining on his contract, which could fit Perreault’s timeline and give the youngster a prime NHL opportunity late this season or in 2025-26.

But that can wait for now since Perreault is officially focused on a big collegiate season ahead.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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