Rangers’ Gabe Perreault impresses in USA’s 4-1 win against Norway at 2024 WJC

Chris Drury Gabriel Perreault
Jun 28, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New York Rangers draft pick Gabriel Perreault stands with GM Chris Drury and Rangers staff after being selected with the twenty third pick in round one of the 2023 NHL Draft at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Gabe Perreault had an impressive debut for the United States at the 2024 World Junior Championship on Tuesday. The New York Rangers prospect had an assist and nearly scored a goal in a 4-1 win against Norway.

It didn’t take Perreault long to make an impression in his first WJC game. The No. 23 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft had an excellent scoring chance in the opening minutes but was robbed 1-on-1 by Norway goalie Markus Stensrud.

Related: Adam Sykora opens WJC strong

Gabe Perreault notches assist

Gabe Perreault
Gabe Perreault (Photo Credit: BC Athletics)

The Boston College standout found his way on to the score sheet 14 minutes into the second period when he assisted on Gavin Brindley’s power-play goal that put the U.S. up 2-0. Perreault displayed impressive hand-eye coordination controlling the puck in mid-air and to the side of the Norway net before sending a slick feed to Brindley on left wing. Brindley buried the pass for his first of two goals in the win.

Skating on a line with BC teammates Ryan Leonard and Will Smith, Perreault finished with the assist and two shots on goal in 15:03 of ice time. He was on the ice for a shorthanded breakaway goal by Norway that made it 3-1 at 4:18 of the third period.

Rangers defenseman prospect Drew Fortescue also had a solid WJC debut for the United States. Fortescue led the U.S. in ice time (18:49) and had the secondary assist on Jimmy Snuggerud’s game-opening goal at 9:59 of the second period.

Inside the blue line on left wing, Fortescue zipped a cross-ice pass to his defense partner Seamus Casey, who quickly found Snuggerud in the slot. Snuggerud spun around and whipped a shot past Stensrud to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead after a slow start to their first game of the tournament.

Perreault and Fortescue will be back in action Thursday when the United States takes on Switzerland in Group B play.

Fellow Rangers prospect Adam Sykora had an assist in Slovakia’s 6-2 win against Czechia on Tuesday. Sykora led Slovakia forwards in ice time (22:51) in the victory. The forward, who’s been playing with Hartford in the American Hockey League this season, is captain for Slovakia at the WJC.

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