Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2014 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2014 Draft Articles Click here.
At the 2013 OHL Trade deadline, the Niagara Ice Dogs traded New York Islanders prospect Mitch Theoret and a conditional second round draft pick to the Barrie Colts for Brendan Perlini and a sixth round pick. Acquiring the then 16-year old was a stroke of genius for the Ice Dogs as Perlini has really exploded this season and become one of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL draft. His play on the Ice Dogs top line with Carter Verhaeghe has been outstanding as Perlini finished second on the team in scoring with 34 goals and 71 points in 58 games. Its a huge jump from the 12 points the former Colts first round pick put up as a 16-year-old. After the Ice Dogs were eliminated by the North Bay Battalion in seven games in the first round of the OHL playoffs, Perlini will play for Team Canada at the 2014 IIHF Under 18 World Championships.
LWOS Recently interviewed Brendan Perlini, you can find that interview here.
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born Apr 27 1996 — Sault Ste. Marie, ONT
Height 6.03 — Weight 205 [191 cm/93 kg]
Brendan Perlini is a very good skater, with excellent speed and acceleration. He couples this with very good agility to be deadly off the rush. He is extremely hard to stop one-on-one. Add to that the good balance and power to be able to fight through checks and you have a lot of offensive potential here.
In the offensive zone, Perlini possesses very good hockey sense, good creativity and excellent vision to be a dynamic playmaker with the puck on his stick. He has good stickhandling, and puck protection skills needed to extend plays and give his linemates time to get open. He is very good in the cycle game. Perlini has shown off a much improved shot and release this season, and this is the biggest change in his offensive game. He has a great wrist shot, and also has a very good one-timer. While Perlini has great height, he could stand to put on more muscle and play a more physical game going forward.
Perlini has also shown great improvement in his play away from the puck, and the change in his game extends to all three zones. He is also showing off good defensive instincts, including being very strong in reading the play and in cutting down passing and shooting lanes. He backchecks hard, and covers his man extremely well. Perlini has very good hockey IQ and you can see how he always makes sure to get the puck out of the zone when it comes near his side of the ice.
When we talk about player comparisons, Perlini’s style is similar to Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks. As always, this isn’t a talent or potential comparison though, just a stylistic one. In terms of potential Perlini could be an effective two-way winger in the top six.
One NHL Scout had this to say about Perlini: “He’s got great size, good defensive play, and the offensive ability to back it up. He also won’t last long come draft day.”
Here are some highlights of Perlini in action.
Check back tomorrow for my #10 ranked prospect.
Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter – @lastwordBkerr. Support LWOS by following us on Twitter –@LastWordOnSport – and “liking” our Facebook page.
Interested in writing for LWOS? We are looking for enthusiastic, talented writers to join our Hockey writing team. Visit our “Write for Us” page for very easy details in how you can get started today!