Pereira Goes Undrafted

After all the profiles, previews, and predictions the NHL Draft came and went this weekend and incoming recruit Mike Pereira’s name surprisingly went uncalled.  Does this mean Pereira could potentially be a bust for the Minutemen?  I doubt it.   The NHL Draft is just that, for the NHL.  Teams are not picking what they think are the best players in the world, they’re drafting the most likely players to get to the NHL.  The best NHL-type players and best college-type players are not always one in the same.  It also doesn’t mean that the drafted players are automatically the best on the roster.  Look at last year’s roster, how do undrafted players James Marcou and Casey Wellman stack up against Rangers draftee Danny Hobbs?  Even arguably the best UMass player, Tommy Pöck, went undrafted.

So what are some of the reasons the NHL teams overlooked Pereira?  Here are a few ideas.  First off, one Fear The Triangle reader commented that Pereira may have been injured during the combine which limited the number of tests he was able to do at the event.  Secondly, and probably more importantly, the NHL drafts for stature nearly always.  Pereira’s size of 5’10” plus concerns of lack of upper body strength likely hurt him.

I’d like to say that a bright spot to him going undrafted would be that it would make it more likely we’ll see a full four years from him, but if this offseason has taught us anything it’s that you can’t count on the talented players to put in a full career no matter their draft status.  But, maybe there is a positive for UMass out of this situation.  Perhaps the NHL passing over Pereira has just put a chip on his shoulder for the next few years.  Being told he wasn’t good enough or big enough motivated Marcou into three outstanding years.  Let’s see how Pereira reacts.